Europe 1 with AFP 11:26 a.m., December 3, 2022
While the emerging phase is far from over and vigilance is still required, the WHO nevertheless estimates that 90% of the world's population has some form of immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, either through a previous infection, either through vaccination.
At least 90% of the world's population has some form of immunity to Covid-19, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday, while warning of declining vigilance.
This drop in vigilance leaves the door open to the emergence of a new variant likely to spread and supplant the currently dominant Omicron variant, Tedros pointed out during a press conference.
500 Omicron sub-variants in circulation
"WHO estimates that at least 90% of the world's population currently has some form of immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, either through previous infection or vaccination," he added, referring to the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic.
The WHO chief warned against the temptation to prematurely assert that the emerging phase of the pandemic is over.
"We are not there yet," he said.
"Gaps in surveillance, testing, sequencing and vaccination continue to create the perfect conditions for the emergence of a concerning new variant that could cause significant mortality," he warned.
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The Omicron variant, which was declared a new variant of concern by the WHO a year ago, has since spread around the world, proving to be far more contagious than its predecessor Delta.
According to Tedros, more than 500 Omicron subvariants are currently circulating, all of which are highly contagious and have mutations that make them able to overcome immune barriers more easily, although they cause less severe forms of the disease than the variants. previous ones.
A total of 6.6 million deaths have been reported by countries to the WHO, while nearly 640 million confirmed cases have been recorded.
But the real toll is much heavier, according to the WHO.
In the past week, more than 8,500 deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded, "which is not acceptable after three years of a pandemic, when we have so many tools to prevent infections and save lives. “, underlined Mr. Tedros.