<span class="t-location">Genève (AFP) – </span>L'OMS a averti mercredi que le monde créait des conditions toxiques pour l'émergence de nouvelles variantes de Covid-19 comme Omicron, puis leur propagation dans le monde entier. </p><div> <p>L'Organisation mondiale de la santé a déclaré que la combinaison d'une faible couverture vaccinale à travers la planète, associée à de très faibles tests pour suivre le virus, était un terreau fertile.
The United Nations health agency has stressed that measures to stop the globally dominant Delta variant will also hamper Omicron.
The worrying new variant has rocked countries around the world.
“We need to use the tools we already have to prevent transmission and save Delta’s lives. And if we do, we will also prevent transmission and save lives of Omicron, ”WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
“But if countries and individuals don’t do what they need to do to stop the transmission of Delta, they won’t stop Omicron either.
“Globally, we have a toxic mix of low immunization coverage and very poor testing – a recipe for replicating and amplifying variants.
“This is why we continue to urge countries to (…) ensure equitable access to vaccines, tests and treatment around the world. “
Omicron in 23 countries
Omicron was first reported to the WHO in South Africa on November 24, while the first known laboratory-confirmed case was identified from a sample taken on November 9.
The Netherlands said on Tuesday it had found the variant in two samples taken on November 19 and 23, one having recently visited southern Africa and the other having no travel history.
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical officer for Covid-19, said the timelines around the first Omicron detections could change as there was a backlog of case sequencing which occurred in November.
Tedros said the WHO took the emergence of Omicron “extremely seriously”, but added that the mutation “should come as no surprise to us. This is what viruses do.
“And that’s what this virus will continue to do, as long as we allow it to continue to spread.” “
Tedros said Omicron has a presence in at least 23 countries – and that number is expected to grow.
Van Kerkhove said the WHO was not yet aware of any deaths associated with Omicron.
The WHO has said it could take several weeks to complete Omicron’s studies to see if there are any changes in transmissibility, severity or implications for Covid vaccines, tests and treatments.
“We expect to have more information about the transmission in a few days: not necessarily in weeks, but in days,” Van Kerkhove said.
Several countries have imposed travel bans on flights from South Africa, which Van Kerkhove said makes it difficult to send samples from the country, even if they were willing to share them.
Van Kerkhove said: “We will come out of this pandemic, but every day decisions have to be made about whether or not we are getting closer to the end of this pandemic or whether we are taking action to prolong it. “
Michael Ryan, WHO’s director of emergencies, said now was not the time for governments to transfer responsibility for managing the pandemic to their citizens.
“We are certainly dealing with a crisis now: this crisis is in Europe, and it is caused by the Delta variant,” he said.
© 2021 AFP