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The World Health Organization warned Thursday that the power to trace COVID-19 variants and subvariants all over the world is reducing because of declining surveillance.
“With surveillance declining, the variety of checks are declining, the numbers of sequences which are being performed and being shared are declining. And, that limits our capacity to evaluate the recognized variants and subvariants… but additionally our capacity to trace and to determine new ones,” mentioned Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID technical lead. “So, that is why it is actually necessary that we hold surveillance actions up.”
Talking at a media briefing, Van Kerkhove informed reporters that a part of ending the pandemic is making an attempt to cut back the unfold of transmission.
“The extra this virus circulates, the extra alternatives it has to alter. And, that is one thing we’re deeply involved about,” she mentioned.
Whereas omicron is dominant worldwide, the company is presently tracking 200 coronavirus sublineages.
Van Kerkhove mentioned the WHO is working with member states to “right-size” the response to the virus, because the world continues to be in danger for future variants.
“We anticipate future variants to be extra transmissible. We anticipate future variants to doubtlessly have extra immune escape, which can render a few of our countermeasures not as efficient as they’re proper now. However, we do not know if future variants will probably be roughly extreme,” she mentioned later.
WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned that whereas the pandemic is just not over, the top is “in sight.”
“Sure, we’re in a greater place than we’ve ever been. The number of weekly COVID-19 deaths continues to say no, and at the moment are simply 10% of what they had been on the peak in January 2021,” he said.
“However, 10,000 deaths per week is 10,000 too many, when most of those deaths could possibly be prevented,” Tedros famous.
Van Kerkhove mentioned that whereas “we’re not there but,” the WHO may be very hopeful.
“The rationale we’re hopeful is as a result of we’ve so many instruments,” she continued. “We simply have to guarantee that all international locations have entry to them and that each one international locations have the insurance policies in place to make use of them most successfully.”
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