WHO chief: “We must not allow this virus a free ride”

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World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries not to become complacent in the fight against COVID-19. Press briefing Wednesday, as cases rise around the world.

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Why this matters: As many countries begin to emphasize learning to live with the virus, Tedros cautioned of the dangers of this approach given how much of the world remains uninfected.

big picture: Although data suggests the Omicron variant has a lower risk of death than the Delta, its highly contagious nature has led to a record-breaking global number of cases every day in the new year. new York Times,

  • “While Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus, especially for people who are unvaccinated,” Tedros said, adding that more than 85% of people in Africa are currently infected. The first dose of vaccine has not yet been received.

What are they saying: “Last week, more than 50 million new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the WHO from around the world. So far, the highest number of cases were reported in a week,” Tedros said.

  • “About 50,000 deaths in a week 50,000 deaths is too much. Learning to live with this virus does not mean that we can accept or accept so many deaths.”

Bottom-line: “We shouldn’t allow this virus a free ride, or wave a white flag, especially when so many people around the world live without vaccinations,” Tedros said.

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