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New Covid variant: WHO's Tedros warns against over-reaction to Omicron

First reported in southern Africa a week ago, the variant has brought global alarm

Topics
Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine | Coronavirus Tests

Reuters  |  Geneva 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Bloomberg
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Photo: Bloomberg)

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) voiced concern on Tuesday that some countries were introducing blanket measures against the Omicron variant that may not be necessary and penalised African nations unfairly. "I well understand the concern of all countries to protect their citizens against a variant that we don't yet fully understand," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"But I am equally concerned that several Member States are introducing blunt, blanket measures that are not evidence-based or effective on their own, and which will only worsen inequities."

First reported in southern Africa a week ago, the variant has brought global alarm, led to travel bans, and highlighted the disparity between massive vaccination pushes in rich nations and sparse inoculation in the developing world.

In remarks to a closed-door meeting posted on its website, the WHO’s Ethiopian head urged the 194 member states to stick to "rational, proportional" measures. There were still more questions than answers, Tedros said, about Omicron's severity and the effectiveness of vaccines.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, November 30 2021. 23:59 IST
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