PIn the nine weeks since the introduction of the omicron type to the WHO, more than 80 million cases of coronavirus have been reported. The prospect of a new “more infectious” and “more deadly” variant is “very real”, its boss said in Geneva on Monday.
At the start of a multi-day meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) executive board, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reiterated that the conditions are ripe for the new forms. “It is dangerous to speculate that Omicron will be the final version”, the managing director also said.
Last week, one hundred cases were identified every three seconds and one person died every 12 seconds. Mr Tedros further reaffirmed that it is possible to end the international public health emergency this year, provided that our approach is correct.
More than 85 states still have yet to reach the target, which was set at the end of last year, to vaccinate at least 40% of their population. In more than thirty of them this share is less than 10%. And one in six Africans has received a dose.
Amid the effects of the pandemic, the objective of providing health coverage for an additional billion people is not expected to be achieved. It could only be awarded for 160 million patients.
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