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WHO: COVID will continue to threaten health systems if collective response isn’t improved

WHO: COVID will continue to threaten health systems if collective response isn’t improved
December 29
21:26 2021

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says COVID will continue to evolve and threaten health systems if efforts to improve response are not effective.

Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said this on Wednesday at a media briefing.

Recalling how COVID-19 was first discovered, Ghebreyesus said while vaccines were being developed through science, politics overpowered solidarity too many times. 

He said populism, narrow nationalism and hoarding of health tools, prevent equity, and created the ideal conditions for the emergence of new variants.


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

“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.

“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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