Many Countries Yet to See Peak in Omicron Wave, Should Ease Curbs Slowly: WHO

By Reuters
February 3, 2022 Updated: February 3, 2022

Many countries have not reached their peak in cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus and measures imposed to curb its spread should be eased slowly, the World Health Organization’s technical lead on COVID-19 said on Tuesday (Feb. 1).

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.N. agency was concerned about a narrative taking 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.

WHO’s emergencies chief Mike Ryan, addressing the same briefing, urged countries to chart their own path out of the pandemic and not blindly follow others in relaxing measures.

Denmark and Austria last week became the latest countries to relax COVID-19 restrictions, after similar moves by Britain, Ireland, and the Netherlands, though other European nations planned new curbs to battle record numbers of infections.