Dangerous to assume it’s endgame in pandemic, Omicron last variant: WHO chief

WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says that conditions are more favourable for new variants to emerge and advised countries to help end the acute phase of the pandemic by ramping up testing and vaccination

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus | Photo: Wikipedia

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday warned that it would be dangerous to assume that the world is in the last phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and that Omicron was the last of the variants.

Stating that conditions are more ideal for new variants to emerge, Ghebreyesus while addressing an executive board meeting of WHO said that a whopping 80 million infections, more than cases reported in 2020, have been reported worldwide in a span of over nine weeks since the reporting of the Omicron variant.

The WHO chief, however, assured that the acute phase of the pandemic may come to an end if strategies and tools like testing and vaccination are used in a comprehensive way. He said to achieve the same, countries should aim to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of their population with special focus on vulnerable groups including the elderly and healthcare workers.

Ghebreyesus said countries should ramp up testing, continue genome sequencing to detect any new variants and resolve pandemic-related issues instead of waiting for it to get over.


“We must work together to bring the acute phase of this pandemic to an end. We cannot let it continue to drag on, lurching between panic and neglect,” Ghebreyesus said.