Omicron variant: The global response must be calm, coordinated, and coherent

Omicron variant: The global response must be calm, coordinated, and coherent
Omicron variant: The global response must be calm, coordinated, and coherent

Omicron variant: The global response must be calm, coordinated, and coherent

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called on the world to respond to the Omicron COVID-19 variant in a calm and coordinated way.

In a state that showed panic, some countries in Europe rushed to impose travel restrictions on Southern Africa following news of the new variant.

Even Zimbabwe took no time to institute its own restrictions as a way of trying the curb the spreads of the Omicron variant.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa demanded that all those who were coming into the country whether they test positive or negative to the virus must be subjected to mandatory quarantine.

The stringent part of it is that they will bear their own cost for staying at the quarantine centre that would be approved by the government.

Currently, there is no clear indication on which centres or facilities will be used for quarantine.

In past times, the government used to quarantine people in schools, universities and various centres dotted around the country.

Speaking recently at the Member State Information Session on the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, Dr Tedros said the new variant should not make people forget that there is the Delta variant that has caused current problems.

He said there is a need to use the tools that are already there to try and combat the new variant or stop its spread.

‘’…we must not forget that we are already dealing with a highly transmissible, dangerous variant – the Delta variant, which accounts for almost all cases globally.

‘’We need to use the tools we already have to prevent transmission and save lives from Delta. And if we do that, we will also prevent transmission and save lives from Omicron – so enhancing surveillance, testing, sequencing and reporting.

‘’The emergence of the Omicron variant has understandably captured global attention. The emergence of any new variant should capture our attention, especially one as highly mutated as Omicron,’’ he said.

Dr Tedros said the world should not be surprised with what is happening with the COVID-19 virus, arguing that it’s the nature of viruses to do that.

He said the WHO Secretariat is taking the current development extremely seriously, and that Member States should also do the same.

‘’But we should not be surprised. This is what viruses do.

‘’And as I have said many times, the longer we allow the pandemic to drag on – by failing to address vaccine inequity, or to implement public health and social measures in a tailored and consistent way – the more opportunity we give this virus to mutate in ways we cannot predict or prevent.

‘’We still have more questions than answers about the effect of Omicron on transmission, the severity of disease, and the effectiveness of tests, therapeutics and vaccines.

‘’The Secretariat is working with partners all over the world to fill in our knowledge gaps as quickly as possible,’’ he said.

Omicron variant: The global response must be calm, coordinated, and coherent

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