COVID-19 remains at pandemic level; WHO warns that transmission is ‘intense’ – El Financiero

GENEVA, Switzerland.- The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this Wednesday its decision to keep the spread of COVID-19 like a international health emergency or pandemic because “this is not the time to lower our guard”, but rather for countries to continue preparing to face this type of crisis.

The CEO of the organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesussaid that the WHO Emergency Committee (body composed of independent scientists) has recommended not to change the alert level in relation to COVID-19 in view of the fact that the virus continues to be transmitted intensely.

In addition, its evolution is unpredictable and the Mortality remains at high levelshe added.

In this context, Tedros indicated that it is necessary to continue efforts for what vaccines, treatments and other tools developed to deal with the pandemic are distributed equitably between and within countries, and that progress be made in the vaccination of those over 65 years of age, particularly in Africa.

Filling the gaps that remain in access to vaccines “is the best way to protect ourselves from future outbreaks,” he told a news conference.

The president of the WHO Emergency Committee, Didier Houssin, maintained that “The time has not come to relax about this virus”nor to lose sight of the importance of continuing to do diagnostic tests.

“We cannot stop vaccinating, this is the message that the Committee considers useful to send to citizens and governments,” Houssin said at the same press conference.

About the Conditions for COVID-19 to stop being at the maximum health alert levelexplained that different criteria must come together, including epidemiological and others related to the impact of the coronavirus in places where transmission remains high.

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“It is wrong to believe that fewer cases mean there is less risk. We are glad that there are fewer deaths, but this virus has surprised us in the pastso we have to keep track of it all the time,” said WHO Director of Health Emergencies Mike Ryan.

The deaths reported in the last week by COVID-19 in the world have been the lowest since the pandemic began.

about the latest discovered subvariants of omicron (called BA.4 AND BA.5), the technical director for COVID-19 at the WHO, Maria Van Kherkove, confirmed that they have been detected in a limited number of countries in Africa and Europe, and are now being analyzed if they present any significant change from the original variant.

He confirmed that at the moment no change in disease severity detected or in the defense offered by vaccines, but also recognized that it is premature to draw conclusions because the number of genetic sequences carried out is low.

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