The WHO said: “If we can keep the spread of the virus to a minimum, we can end this pandemic.”
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads faster than the Delta variant and has infected people who have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have been infected with COVID-19. There. over there.
WHO Chief Scientific Officer Soumya Swaminathan added that it is “unwise” to conclude based on preliminary evidence that Omicron is a milder variant than the previous one.
On December 20, at a press conference held at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Soumya Swaminathan said: “…With the rapid increase in the number of new cases, the entire health system will be overwhelmed.”
She said that this variant successfully avoided the body’s immune response. This means that booster vaccination programs in many countries need to target people with weakened immune systems.
WHO Director-General Tan Desai said: “There is now consistent evidence that the Omicron variant spreads significantly faster than the Delta variant.”
“People who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 are more likely to be infected or re-infected.”
He recalled the results of a study published last week at Imperial College London, which showed that the risk of re-infection with Omicron was 5 times that of Delta and showed no signs of being milder than Delta.
However, WHO officials said the vaccine is still effective in preventing infection and causing disease.
Although the protective ability of antibodies has been reduced, T cells, the second pillar of the immune response, can still prevent the progression of the disease by attacking already infected cells.
WHO expert Abdi Mahamud added: “Although we have seen a decrease in the number of neutralizing antibodies, almost all preliminary analyses have shown that T cell-mediated immunity remains intact. This is what we really need.”
However, when asked how to deal with the new variants discovered at the end of last month, Ms. Swaminatan said: “Of course there are challenges. Many monoclonal antibodies are not effective against Omicron.”
She did not provide any details about the treatment methods that mimic natural antibodies to fight infections. Some drug manufacturers have not solved this problem.
End the pandemic
Mr. Tedros said that the upcoming holiday will lead to “increased cases, overloaded health systems and more deaths”. He urged people to postpone the party.
“Canceling an event is better than canceling a life.”
As the world is tired of facing a new wave of epidemics, a WHO team of experts hopes to end the epidemic that killed 5.6 million people worldwide in 2022.
2022 will lead to the development of second and third generation vaccines, as well as the further development of antibacterial treatments and other innovations.
Mike Ryan, WHO’s chief emergency expert, said at a press conference: “(We) hope to classify this disease as a relatively mild disease that is easy to prevent and treat. If there is, we can at least control the virus. Spread. We can end this pandemic.”
However, Tan Desai said that China first discovered the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the end of 2019, so data and information about the origin of the virus must be provided to help future responses. future. future.
Tedros said: “We need to keep working hard until we know the source of this virus. We need to work harder because we should learn from what happened in order to do better in the future…in the future. “