This virus has demonstrated it will not simply disappear, WHO chief Tedros on Omicron

WION Web Team
Geneva Published: Dec 01, 2021, 09:25 PM(IST)

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The WHO chief asserted that "blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of Omicron,"

As the world grapples with the Omicron variant, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at least 23 countries from five of six WHO regions have now reported cases of the new variant.

The WHO chief asserted that "blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of Omicron," while adding, "globally, we have a toxic mix of low vaccine coverage and very low testing."

Read Live blog updates on Omicron

The WHO chief called on countries to take "rational, proportional risk-reduction measures" in the fight against the virus.


"Several WHO advisory groups have met over the last couple of days to evaluate the emerging evidence, and prioritise the studies needed to answer these questions," he said.

Also Read: France mandates negative Covid test for all non-EU arrivals

"If countries and individuals don’t do what they need to do to stop transmission of Delta, they won’t stop Omicron either," he said.


Tedros urged equitable access to syringes, tests and therapeutics while reminding that the world was still dealing with highly transmissible and dangerous Delta variant.

The WHO chief asked countries to optimise public health and social measures and ensure "high-risk and vulnerable individuals in all countries are fully vaccinated".

"This virus has demonstrated that it will not simply disappear," he said while adding that "how many more lives and livelihoods it takes is up to us." 

"Ending the pandemic is not a matter of chance; it’s a matter of choice," he said.

Also Read: Two fully vaccinated Israeli doctors get infected with Omicron variant

"We need to use the tools we already have to prevent transmission and save lives from Delta. And if we do that, we will also prevent transmission and save lives from Omicron," the WHO chief said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Read in App