WHO’s Tedros: ‘We Mustn’t Allow this Virus a Free Ride"

While the WHO meets today to weigh whether to extend the global public health emergency that’s been in place for nearly 2 years, some experts warn that declaring an end to emergency now could send the wrong signal, the Daily Sabah reports.
  
The Omicron variant has fueled a huge spike in cases, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed at a press briefing yesterday, but he noted that deaths have “remained stable” since October at about 48,000 a week, UN News reports.
 
However: “Almost 50 thousand deaths a week is 50 thousand deaths too many,” Tedros said. “We mustn’t allow this virus a free ride or wave the white flag, especially when so many people around the globe remain unvaccinated,” he said—particularly the 85% of people in Africa who haven’t received a single dose yet.
 
Encouraging signs: Africa’s Omicron-fueled fourth wave of the pandemic is flattening after a 6-week surge, the WHO reports—including a 14% decline in infections over the past week in hard-hit southern Africa. But the next wave might be harsher, warned Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa.

And, in the US: Omicron may be peaking in parts of the Northeast, according to The New York Times. But cases are still rising in every state–and deaths are climbing in many parts of the country, too, Axios reportsa reminder that for vulnerable people especially, the threat remains very real.


Related:

Omicron detected in nearly every country in Americas: PAHO – Al Jazeera

Americans are tuning out as omicron rages. Experts call for health messaging to adapt – NPR Shots
 
What should our COVID-19 strategy look like in 2022? – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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