WHO Chief Representative warnes fight against COVID-19 not over yet

On January 6, Chief Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam Dr Angela Pratt warned that the fight against COVID-19 is not over yet as many people are getting infected, hospitalised, and dead in many countries around the world.
WHO chief representative: fight against COVID-19 not over yet
Illustrative image. (Photo: VNA)

According to the WHO, over 500 different variants of SAR-CoV-2 have been recorded so far. Omicron is now the dominant variant of infection cases globally with many sub-variants. In particular, XBB sub-variant, discovered since October 2022, has so far spread in more than 70 countries.

Pratt said XBB is a recombination of Omicron’s two sub-variants. To date, XBB and its offshoots have been found in more than 10 countries in the West Pacific, including Vietnam, and will spread in the coming time.

They prove more contagious than other sub-variants, which should be worrying, she said.

However, there has been not any evidence of a change in disease severity caused by XBB variant. Current diagnostic and protective measures remain potent, including COVID-19 vaccines approved by WHO.

Therefore, WHO still suggested wearing masks in high-risk places such as crowd and enclosed spaces and washing hands regularly. Adults and children should be fully vaccinated, including all booster shots recommended by health authorities, she said.

She added that though COVID-19 is still circulating in Vietnam, there are no signs showing that hospitals and medical stations are overloaded with COVID-19 cases.

According to her, the Vietnamese Health Ministry is raising public awareness of COVID-19 preventive measures during the upcoming Lunar New Year festival, which, she said, is important to slow down the spread of the virus.

The ministry has directed relevant agencies to enhance supervision at border gates and medical stations, as well as accelerate genome sequencing to brace for any possible outbreak.

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(Source: VNA)