After the president of the Spanish government spoke in favor of modifying the classification from pandemic to endemic for covid-19, the World Health Organization maintained that it is still “premature” to face this discussion as there is a high level of uncertainty regarding the high transmissibility of the omicron variant and the hospital burden derived from this new wave of infections.
“You have to be very cautious with predictions about the future,” WHO-Europe director Hans Kluge said Tuesday, insisting that the priority right now is protect vulnerable groups and health personnel, as well as minimizing disruption to the economy and schools.
Kluge recalled that the coronavirus surprised “more than once” and that “it is not a good idea” to make forecasts, in addition to highlighting that the fundamental objective for this year is to “stabilize the pandemic”.
The head of emergencies for WHO-Europe, Catherine Smallwood, said in the same vein: “We are not at that point in the pandemic,” she said. For the official, the evolution of the pandemic will depend a lot “on the actions that we take collectively in Europe and around the world.”
New wave with unprecedented spikes in infections
More of 7 million new cases were recorded in the region that includes 53 countries in Europe and Central Asia in the first seven days of the year, double the number two weeks earlier, the WHO noted, although mortality rates remain stable and are higher where the rate is highest. incidence and lower vaccination rate.
Kluge was concerned about the impact of omicron on the Eastern countries, where the percentage of the vaccinated population is lower, and recalled that vaccines continue to provide “good protection” against severe cases and death.
The director of WHO-Europe insisted on the importance of keeping schools open for the mental, social and educational well-being of children and that they should be the last place to close and the first to reopen.