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South Africa cannot be blamed for Omicron: WHO

November 30, 2021 6:25 am

The likelihood of the potential further spread of Omicron at the global level has been defined as “very high” by WHO.

The variant could lead to severe consequences in some regions says WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, renewing a call for a global push to get vaccines to poorer nations.

Dr Ghebreyesus says the emergence of the threatening new Omicron variant shows how important it is for the world to end the “cycle of panic and neglect” over the pandemic.

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He argues that greater international cooperation is essential to preserve “hard-won gains” against the virus.

A World Health Assembly meeting has been convened to decide on the issue of a so-called “pandemic treaty”.

Tedros said the world has not responded accordingly to COVID-19, and vaccine inequity, among other challenges, has facilitated the appearance of new highly mutated variants such as Omicron.

He says Omicron demonstrates just why the world needs a new accord on pandemics because the current system disincentivises countries from alerting others to threats that will inevitably land on their shores.

The UN Secretary-General also expressed his deep concern on Monday for the isolation now being felt by southern African countries due to the new restrictions imposed on travel from the region, by dozens of nations across the world.

 

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