WHO Raises Concern over Omicron Sub-Variant as Cases Found in 57 Countries

The head of the World Health Organization said it is too early for countries to either declare victory over COVID-19 or give up attempts to halt transmission, as the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, potentially more infectious than the original version, has now been found in 57 countries.

“It is premature for any country to either surrender or to declare victory. This virus is dangerous, and it continues to evolve before our very eyes,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday.

WHO confirmed in its weekly epidemiological update that four sub-variants of Omicron collectively account for over 93% of all coronavirus specimens collected in the past month.

“We’re concerned that a narrative has taken hold in some countries that because of vaccines and because of Omicron’s high transmissibility and lower severity, preventing transmission is no longer possible and no longer necessary. Nothing could be further from the truth… more COVID-19 transmission means more deaths,” Tedros said.

WHO Emergencies Chief Mike Ryan urged countries to chart their path out of the pandemic and not blindly follow others in relaxing measures.

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