“This huge spike in infections is being driven by the Omicron variant, which is rapidly replacing Delta in almost all countries,” mentioned Ghebreyesus at his press handle on Wednesday.
“However, the number of weekly reported deaths has remained stable since October last year, at an average of 48 thousand deaths a week,” he added. This could possibly be because of the decreased severity of Omicron, and widespread immunity from vaccination or earlier an infection, he famous.
But for individuals who are unvaccinated “Omicron remains a dangerous virus”, the WHO chief mentioned
He said that the world can not “allow this virus a free ride” when so many individuals around the globe stay unvaccinated.
In Africa, for instance, greater than 85 % of individuals are but to obtain a single dose of vaccine.
“We cannot end the acute phase of the pandemic unless we close this gap”, he mentioned.
According to Ghebreyesus, the overwhelming majority of individuals admitted to hospitals around the globe are unvaccinated.
At the identical time, whereas immunizations stay very efficient at stopping extreme illness and loss of life, they don’t totally forestall transmission.
“More transmission means more hospitalizations, more deaths, more people off work, including teachers and health workers, and more risk of another variant emerging that is even more transmissible and more deadly than Omicron”, Ghebreyesus defined.
The sheer variety of circumstances additionally means extra strain on already overburdened and exhausted well being staff.
A examine printed final 12 months confirmed that multiple in 4 well being staff had skilled psychological well being points in the course of the pandemic. Data from a number of nations additionally present that many have thought-about leaving their jobs.