Although some experts assumed that the effect of the events would decrease and the virus would disappear, the World Health Organization gave the opposite statement. The organization announced that the virus that has changed with the Delta variant and the Omicron variant will continue to mutate.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated at the first press conference of the year, which he held with global health experts at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva, that the highest number of COVID-19 incidents had been recorded since the beginning of the epidemic last week.
Stating that the Omicron variant has a milder course compared to Delta, especially in vaccinated individuals, but cannot be classified as “mild”, Ghebreyesus said, “Just like the previous variants, Omicron hospitalizes and kills people. Omicron creates a tsunami effect, spreads very rapidly and affects health systems around the world. It puts a lot of pressure on it,” he said.
Mentioning that the hospitals are overcrowded because of Omicron, Ghebreyesus pointed out that “preventable” deaths occurred in other diseases and injuries due to worker shortage and density.
Ghebreyesus reiterated his call for global equality in the distribution and access of vaccines, noting that 109 countries will miss WHO’s goal of fully vaccinating 70 percent of the world’s population by the half of 2021.
“Get your vaccinations” invitation
Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s combat group against COVID-19, underlined that all current vaccines are effective against this variant, upon questions of Omicron.
Kerkhove emphasized that the Omicron variant does not become more severe thanks to vaccinations in general, and once again invited everyone to get their vaccinations.
Warning that Omicron will not be the last variant of COVID-19, Kerkhove said, “Unfortunately, Omicron will not be the last variant, the virus continues to ‘evolve’.”