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COVID-19 remains a threat to health systems – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday COVID-19 would continue to evolve and threaten health systems across the world if effective response was not deployed to tackle the pandemic.

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, who disclosed this to journalists in Geneva, Switzerland, said apart from vaccination, public health social measures are needed to check the wave of infections.

He said: “Building on the successes and failures, we must not only share vaccines faster and more equitably with COVAX and AVAT, but we must also support countries in manufacturing and rolling them out to everyone. And access to new treatments must also follow.

“This virus will continue to evolve and threaten our health systems if we don’t improve the collective response.

“Right now, Delta and Omicron are twin threats that are driving up cases to record numbers, which again is leading to spikes in hospitalisations and deaths.

“I am highly concerned that Omicron being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as Delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases.

READ ALSO: WHO expects COVID-19 to end in 2022

“This is and will continue to put immense pressure on exhausted health workers and health systems on the brink of collapse and again disrupting lives and livelihoods.

“The pressure on health systems is not only because of new COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation, but also a large number of health workers are getting sick themselves.

“The unvaccinated are many times more at risk of dying from either variant.

“Omicron is moving so quickly. In addition to vaccination, public health social measures are also needed to stem the wave of infections, protect health workers and systems, open up societies and keep children in school.

“I welcome innovative solutions to reach vulnerable communities that have not received vaccination yet because the primary doses are the most important for people to develop immunity.”

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