Covid-19 remains a “threat”, warns WHO

Covid-19 remains a “threat”, warns WHO

Covid-19 remains a “threat”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, four years after the appearance of the disease which killed millions of people and seriously affected the global economy, but which is no longer considered a priority, reports AFP. .

COVID-19Photo: Inquam Photos / George Calin

“This virus, SARS-CoV-2, is currently circulating in all countries and still poses a threat,” warned Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO researcher responsible for the fight against the pandemic, reports Agerpres.

“We must remain vigilant, because the virus circulates, evolves and changes,” she insisted, during an exchange of opinions with the public on social networks.

Maria Van Kerkhove was one of the figures in the WHO’s battle against the disease. She is currently acting director responsible for preparing preventive measures against epidemics and pandemics.

There are currently three variants of the COVID-19 virus (XBB.1.5, XXB.1.16 and EG.5) called “of interest”, which are subject to increased surveillance. A fourth (BA.2.86) involves joining them, even if it does not show increased severity of the disease.

“We have seen a slow and steady increase in its detection around the world,” Van Kerkhove explained.

In response to the COVID pandemic, WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020, its highest alert level, which was ultimately raised on May 5, 2023.

Beyond the acute and immediate symptoms, the WHO expresses its concern about the long-term effects caused by the virus, known as long-term COVID.

“We have evidence that vaccination with Covid-19 vaccines reduces the risk” of Covid in the long term, said Maria Van Kerkhove.

She said 13.5 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide since the first injections in late 2020.

The WHO official encouraged people in the northern hemisphere, where winter begins soon, to get vaccinated against COVID and flu.

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