THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned of possible “alarming” increases in COVID-19 deaths in most regions in the world after 90 million cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant were recorded since December last year.
Speaking at a briefing yesterday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said infections from the Omicron variant detected in 10 weeks had surpassed the number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the whole of 2020.
“Since Omicron was first identified just 10 weeks ago, almost 90 million cases have been reported to WHO, more than cases that were reported in the whole of 2020. We are now starting to see a very worrying increase in deaths in most regions of the world,” Ghebreyesus said.
“We are concerned that a narrative has taken 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.”
He urged countries to take measures to protect their populations against the virus.
“More transmissions mean more deaths. We are not calling for any country to return to so-called lockdown, but we are calling on all countries to protect their people using every tool in the toolkit, not vaccines alone. It’s premature for any country either to surrender or to declare victory.”
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association President Johannes Marisa said: “I am afraid we might get another wave anytime soon because what is happening right now in America shows the emergence of another wave, with several thousands of people succumbing to this virus.”
Marisa said people should avoid complacency to prevent a spike in cases and fatalities.
As of yesterday morning, Zimbabwe had recorded 229 851 COVID-19 cases and 5 350 deaths.