Faced with the Omicron variant, WHO calls on Member States to adopt a “rational” response

While the new variant of the Coronavirus has caused panic since its identification a few days ago by South Africa, the WHO calls for appeasement. “The global response must be calm, coordinated and coherent,” pleaded the head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a briefing to Member States on Omicron, at WHO headquarters in Geneva.

“I fully understand the concern of all countries to protect their citizens against a variant that we do not yet fully understand. But I am equally concerned that several member states are introducing general and brutal measures which are neither evidence-based nor effective in themselves, and which will only worsen inequalities, ”he said at the time. that many countries have closed their borders to travelers arriving from Southern African countries.

Measures proportional to risk

“We call on all member states to take rational measures proportionate to the risk, in accordance with the International health regulations “, The reference legal instrument for the WHO and its signatory countries, added Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The WHO chief stressed that the organization “takes this development very seriously” and called on member states to do the same. But he stressed that we should “not be surprised” by this development: “This is what viruses do. “” The longer we let the pandemic drag on – by not addressing inequalities in vaccine access or by implementing social and public health measures in an appropriate and consistent manner – the more we give to this virus the ability to mutate in a way that we can neither anticipate nor prevent, ”argued Dr Tedros.

Originally reported in southern Africa last week, this new strain has been detected on all continents. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked “Botswana and South Africa for detecting, sequencing and reporting this variant so quickly”, and expressed “deep concern that these countries are now being penalized by others for to have done the right thing ”.

Source: 20Minutes – Une by www.20minutes.fr.

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