The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) asked the member states on Tuesday for a “rational” and “proportional” response to Omicron, the new variant of the coronavirus that has been causing panic for several days.
“The global response must be calm, coordinated and coherent,” he defended. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at an information meeting on this new variant at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
“I understand the concern of all countries to protect their citizens against a variant that we still do not fully understand. But I am also concerned that several Member States implement general and brutal measures that are neither based on evidence nor effective in any way. Yes and what they will only aggravate inequalities“, Held.
“We ask all member states to take a rational and risk-proportional response, in accordance with the International Health Regulations”, the legal instrument of reference for the WHO and the countries that are part of it, he added.
We still have more questions than answers, “about Ómicron, he said.
He also stressed that one should not “be surprised” by the fact that the virus evolves. “This is what viruses do,” he insisted.
“The more we allow the pandemic to last forever, without remedying inequalities in access to vaccines or by not implementing social and public health measures in an adapted and coherent way, the more possibilities we will be giving the virus to mutate from one so we can neither anticipate nor prevent, “Tedros said.
The new strain was initially detected in South Africa last week but has already spread across all continents. This led many countries to suspend their air connections with southern Africa, to establish prevention devices and, in the case of nations with the largest reserves of vaccines against Covid-19, to urge the population to inject a booster dose.
Tedros thanked “Botswana and South Africa for having detected, sequenced and warned of this variant so quickly” and declared “deeply concerned that these countries are being penalized for having done what they had to do.”