WHO says ability to track COVID variants diminishing as surveillance declines #news

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The World Health Organization warned Thursday that the ability to track COVID-19 variants and subvariants world wide is lowering due to declining surveillance. 

 “With surveillance declining, the number of tests are declining, the numbers of sequences that are being conducted and being shared are declining. And, that limits our ability to assess the known variants and subvariants… but also our ability to track and to identify new ones,” mentioned Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID technical lead. “So, this is why it’s really important that we keep surveillance activities up.”

Speaking at a media briefing, Van Kerkhove informed newshounds that a part of finishing the pandemic is attempting to cut back the unfold of transmission. 

“The more this virus circulates, the more opportunities it has to change. And, this is something we are deeply concerned about,” she mentioned.

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In this photograph representation, the World Health Organization (WHO) emblem is observed displayed on an android cell phone with a COVID representation within the background. 
(Photo Illustration via Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket by the use of Getty Images)

While omicron is dominant international, the company is these days tracking 200 coronavirus sublineages.

Van Kerkhove mentioned the WHO is operating with member states to “right-size” the reaction to the virus, as the arena continues to be in peril for long run variants. 

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a ceremony to launch a multiyear partnership with Qatar on making FIFA Football World Cup 2022 and mega sporting events healthy and safe at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on October 18, 2021. 
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a rite to release a multiyear partnership with Qatar on making FIFA Football World Cup 2022 and mega wearing occasions wholesome and protected on the WHO headquarters in Geneva on October 18, 2021. 
(Photo via FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP by the use of Getty Images)

“We expect future variants to be more transmissible. We expect future variants to potentially have more immune escape, which may render some of our countermeasures not as effective as they are right now. But, we don’t know if future variants will be more or less severe,” she mentioned later. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned that whilst the pandemic isn’t over, the top is “in sight.” 

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“Yes, we’re in a greater place than we’ve ever been. The number of weekly COVID-19 deaths continues to decline, and at the moment are simply 10% of what they have been on the height in January 2021,” he mentioned. 

World Health Organization's technical lead on the coronavirus pandemic, Maria van Kerkhove gestures during an interview with AFP in Geneva on October 13, 2020. 

World Health Organization’s technical lead at the coronavirus pandemic, Maria van Kerkhove gestures all over an interview with AFP in Geneva on October 13, 2020. 
(Photo via RICHARD JUILLIART/AFP by the use of Getty Images)

“But, 10,000 deaths a week is 10,000 too many, when most of these deaths could be prevented,” Tedros famous. 

Van Kerkhove mentioned that whilst “we’re not there yet,” the WHO could be very hopeful. 

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“The reason we’re hopeful is because we have so many tools,” she persevered. “We just need to make sure that all countries have access to them and that all countries have the policies in place to use them most effectively.”

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