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COVID-19 pandemic ‘nowhere near over’ WHO warns


Agency Report

The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, the World Health Organization chief said Tuesday, cautioning against a narrative that the fast-spreading Omicron variant is risk-free.

“This pandemic is nowhere near over,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters from the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.

The UN health agency chief warned against dismissing as mild the coronavirus variant Omicron, which has spread like wildfire around the globe since it was first detected in southern Africa in November.

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The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is much more contagious than previous strains but seems to cause less serious disease.

That has triggered a debate on whether the virus is on the verge of passing from the pandemic phase to becoming an endemic disease that humanity can live with — with the implication that the danger will have passed.

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But the WHO has warned that the sheer numbers of people infected will mean many people are still falling seriously ill and dying.