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Omicron: WHO Chief Scientist Encourages People Not to Panic

The World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist said Friday that it was premature to urge people not to panic about the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant and to say if the vaccine needs to be remade.

In an interview at the Reuters Next Conference, Sumiya Swaminasan said it was impossible to predict whether Omicron would become the dominant stock.

Omicron gained a foothold in Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe, reaching seven of nine South African states and was first identified. Many governments have tightened travel rules to prevent this variant.

Swaminasan said Omicron was “highly infectious,” citing data from South Africa to show the number of cases doubling daily.

“How worried should we be? We are in a different situation than we were a year ago, so we need to be prepared and cautious, not panicked,” she said.

“Delta accounts for 99% of all infectious diseases worldwide. This variant needs to be more contagious in order to win the competition and become dominant worldwide. Possible, but predictable. You can not.”

Much remains unclear about Omicron, which has been detected in more than 20 countries, as parts of Europe are working on a wave of more familiar delta mutant infections.

“We have to wait, hope it’s milder … but it’s too early to come to a conclusion about the varieties as a whole,” Swami Nasan said.

Mike Ryan, WHO’s head of emergency, said there was no evidence to support a vaccine change to match the vaccine to Omicron.

“Currently, highly effective vaccines are working. We need to focus on more equitable distribution. We need to focus on vaccination of the highest risk people,” Ryan said. Said at a social media event.

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said at a UN briefing in Geneva that vaccine makers need to be prepared for the possibility of adjusting their products.

Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech in Germany, which manufactures COVID vaccines at Pfizer, said at Reuters’ next meeting that his company should be able to adapt shots relatively quickly.

Sahin also said that current vaccines should continue to provide protection against serious illnesses despite mutations.

“In principle, at some point I believe we will need a new vaccine against this new variant. The question is how urgent it needs to be available,” Sahin said. rice field.

Worry about vaccination gaps

Australia became the latest country to report community outbreaks of new variants the day after it was discovered in five states in the United States.

Approximately 264 million people have been reported to be infected with the coronavirus and 5.48 million have died since it was first detected in central China in late 2019, according to Reuters data.

Immunization rates vary from country to country, but there are worrisome gaps in poor countries. Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world and once the epicenter of the COVID-19 epicenter in Asia, is fully inoculated with only about 35% of its population.

In the United States, the Biden administration has announced measures to prevent the spread of the virus. International air travelers arriving in the United States from Monday must test negative for COVID-19 within one day of travel.

“We will fight this variant with science and speed, not turmoil or turmoil,” said President Joe Biden.

Less than 60% of the US population is fully vaccinated, which is one of the lowest rates in affluent countries.

Aside from causing havoc in the travel industry, the crackdown struck financial markets and weakened major economies just as it began to recover from the blockade caused by Delta.

Bank of England policymaker Michael Sanders, who voted for a rate hike last month, said on Friday that more information about Omicron was needed before deciding how to vote this month.

“Currently, new Omicron COVID mutants have only recently been detected, so we have to wait for more evidence of possible public health consequences and thus potential economic implications. There are special benefits, “Saunders said in a speech.

Germany said a law would be drafted early next year to ban all businesses except unvaccinated companies and mandate vaccination.

Several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have been planning to offer booster shots, but like the travel ban, they are controversial.

Many scientists say that the way to stop the spread of the virus is to make the vaccine accessible to poor countries, not to give people in rich countries a full booster shot.

Read again: India’s hospitality sector’s $ 15 billion revenue target is hazy due to the looming threat of Omicron.

Read again: Economic activity in November will ease slightly.Omicron fears economic recovery

Omicron: WHO Chief Scientist Encourages People Not to Panic Omicron: WHO Chief Scientist Encourages People Not to Panic

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