| 1 October 2022, Saturday |

In 10 weeks, omicron surge causes COVID-19 cases to soar: WHO

The World Health Organization’s chief stated Tuesday that 90 million coronavirus infections have been recorded since the omicron strain was first found 10 weeks ago, which is higher than the total number of cases reported in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With many countries relaxing their restrictions due to public fatigue, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyeus warned that omicron should not be underestimated — despite causing less severe illness than earlier variants — and cited “a very worrying increase in deaths in most regions of the world.”

“We are concerned that a narrative has emerged in certain countries that, due to vaccinations — with omicron’s high transmissibility and lesser severity — stopping transmission is no longer viable or required,” he said at a regular WHO pandemic briefing.

Tedros went on to say, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” “It is premature for any government to declare triumph or capitulation.” This virus is hazardous, and it is evolving right in front of our eyes.”

According to WHO, four of the world’s six regions are seeing rising mortality rates.

Many European countries, notably the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, and the Netherlands, have begun to relax lockdown restrictions. Finland’s COVID-19 limitations will be lifted this month.

On Tuesday, Denmark’s government lifted most pandemic-fighting regulations, stating that COVID-19 is no longer a “socially critical illness.” In recent weeks, the country of 5.8 million has witnessed more than 50,000 new cases every day, but the number of patients in intensive care units has decreased.

“This is not the time to raise everything at once. “We have always advocated — always urged — prudence in deploying treatments as well as gradually increasing those interventions, piece by piece,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical head on COVID-19.

Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO’s emergency chief, stated that countries with higher vaccination rates “have more choices” in easing restrictions, but that they should consider factors such as current epidemiology, at-risk populations, population immunity, and access to health care tools to combat the pandemic.

“Every country has to find its feet, know where it is, know where it wants to go, and plan its route,” he said governments. You may learn from what other countries are doing. However, please do not simply copy what every other country is doing.”

Ryan voiced fear that “political pressure would cause people in some nations to open early – resulting in unwanted transmission, serious sickness, and death.”

Meanwhile, Van Kerkhove stated that a panel of specialists formed last year to investigate the appearance of new infections, such as the coronavirus, and determine their origins, will deliver a report “in the coming weeks.”

She stated that the organization, known as SAGO, had held around a half-dozen sessions since its inception in late November.

She stated that the group will look at early epidemiological research as well as “our current knowledge of the origins of this specific epidemic, drawing on past missions that have gone to China and worked with Chinese experts.”

She alluded to the work of another WHO-led delegation that flew to China, where the pandemic began, and reported on the epidemic in March of last year.

  • Associated Press