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WHO warns “prematurely” to declare victory over COVID

Geneva: The head of the World Health Organization warned yesterday that it was premature for countries to declare victory over COVID-19 or give up attempts to stop transmission. “It’s too early to declare victory for any country to surrender,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. “This virus is dangerous and continues to evolve in front of us,” his comment says, despite Denmark’s record number of milder Omicron variants yesterday. It was the first EU country to lift all of its COVID curbs, and many other countries have made similar moves.

Kuwait yesterday reported 6,436 new COVID-19 cases, in addition to two deaths and 5,658 recovery. The number of ICU cases dropped from 91 on Monday to 90 yesterday. The number of hospitalized patients increased from 480 to 482, and the total number of active cases increased from 51,718 to 52,467. The percentage of daily new cases for new tests dropped from 20.7% to 17.7%, but the percentage of recovery remained at 90%.

“Because of the vaccine, and because of Omicron’s high infectivity and low severity, we are concerned that the story that prevention of infection is no longer possible and no longer necessary is well established in some countries. “Tedros said. “We can’t be far from the truth,” he said, stressing that “more COVID-19 infections mean more deaths.”

A head of the United Nations Health Organization noted that since Omicron was first discovered in southern Africa 10 weeks ago, nearly 90 million cases have been reported to WHO, more than in 2020 as a whole. “In most parts of the world, we are beginning to see a very worrisome increase in deaths,” he emphasized.

He said it was important to keep trying to stop the virus. “We are calling on all countries to protect their people with all the tools in the toolkit, not just vaccines,” Tedros said. The WHO director emphasized the need to keep track of new variants, including the Omicron subspecies BA.2. “This virus will continue to evolve, so we are calling on countries to continue testing, monitoring, and sequencing,” he said. “If you don’t know what the virus is doing, you can’t fight it.”

A Danish study published on Monday found that subvariants are even more infectious than the original version. BA.2 – also known as “stealth omicron” – was detected earlier this year and replaced the first omicron variant known as BA.1 as the dominant strain in Denmark. A Danish SSI health official said in a statement that a person infected with BA.2 has a 39% chance of transmitting the virus to others in the family within a week, but in BA.1 29. There is a% risk.

A study by SSI researchers and a Danish university enrolled 18,000 people and was conducted from December 20th to January 18th. SSI doctor Camilla Holten Moller said BA.2 is more likely to infect unvaccinated people than BA.1. She added that those who were completely jabbed, especially those who received boost immunity, were much less likely to catch tension.

Denmark yesterday said goodbye to face masks and health passes as it became the first European Union country to lift all domestic COVID curbs. Slight restrictions remain on the border for unvaccinated travelers arriving from outside the Schengen region. After the first attempt to lift the restrictions between September and November, Scandinavian countries again abolished the COVID check and restricted the opening hours of bars and restaurants.

Alleviation is brought about by Denmark enrolling approximately 40,000-50,000 new COVID cases daily. This represents almost 1 percent of the country’s 5.8 million inhabitants. Health officials believe these numbers will begin to fall soon. Over 60% of Danes receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to the EU average of just under 45%. This is a month ahead of the health authorities’ schedule.

Health officials, including those recently infected with COVID, estimate that 80% of the population is protected from severe forms of illness. Two years after the outbreak of COVID-19, the Danish strategy has gained widespread domestic support. The Danish Health Authority currently “recommends” to quarantine people who test positive for four days, but they no longer need to be quarantined in case of contact. Face masks and COVID passes are also recommended for hospital visits.

WHO also warned yesterday that the large amount of waste generated while working on the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to human and environmental health. WHO said in a report that tens of thousands of tons of extra medical waste put a heavy burden on the medical waste management system. Extra waste “threats human and environmental health and exposes an urgent need to improve waste management practices,” said the United Nations Health Agency.

WHO said less attention was paid to the safe and sustainable disposal of COVID-19 medical waste as countries scrambled to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) to deal with the crisis. Said. The report examined 1.5 billion units (approximately 87,000 tonnes) of PPE procured between March 2020 and November 2021 and was shipped to each country via the United Nations system. This is a small part of the whole world.

According to WHO, most of this equipment is likely to be waste. In addition, more than 140 million test kits have been shipped, which can generate 2,600 tonnes of non-infectious waste, mainly plastic and 731,000 liters of chemical waste. According to the report, about 97 percent of the plastic waste from the test has been incinerated. In addition, the first 8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses given worldwide generated 144,000 tonnes of additional waste, including syringes, needles and safety boxes.

WHO does not recommend the use of gloves for vaccination, but the report said it seems to be a common practice. According to the report, gloves make up the largest proportion of PPE waste of all items procured by the United Nations in terms of quantity. The 71-page report warned that there was a lack of safe management services for medical waste, even before the pandemic put more pressure on it.

The report recommended practical solutions such as the more rational use of PPE. Use fewer packages. Development of reusable PPE. Use PPE made of biodegradable material. Investment in non-combustible waste treatment technology. Centralized waste management. Invest in local PPE production. “Working on environmental issues does not require compromising safety,” he said. -agency

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/who-warns-premature-to-declare-victory-over-covid/ WHO warns “prematurely” to declare victory over COVID

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