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To prevent an increase in Omicron cases, the WHO recommends vaccination.

On Friday, a World Health Organization (WHO) official urged countries to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and follow health protocols in order to prepare for a probable rise in cases due to the Omicron strain.

Dr. Takeshi Kasai, WHO Western Pacific Region director, claimed: “things are heading in the right direction in the region” as Covid-19 cases and deaths have dropped in an online media forum.

Kasai, on the other hand, believes that countries, particularly those that have successfully contained the virus, should not be complacent.

“Cases have been rising globally for seven weeks in a row,” he noted.

Omicron, a new type of worry

As long as the transmission, which is driving the coronavirus to mutate, continues, Kasai warned countries about future outbreaks.

The number of countries reporting Omicron detection is increasing everyday, according to WHO Regional Emergency Director Dr. Babatunde Olowokure.

Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea are the only states and an island in the region having Omicron instances.

Olowokure explained that because Omicron is more transmissible than other variants, the WHO is actively collaborating with research institutions to further understand the variant.

“We know that Omicron will eventually reach the majority of the region’s countries.” He went on to say, “We need to start preparing right now.”

Restrictions on travel

According to Kasai, adopting changes to the Omicron variant’s management could help countries “better cope with future surges and lessen health and economic impact.”

According to him, the government cannot rely solely on border measures.

Meanwhile, Olowokure claims that travel bans may delay, but not prevent, the Omicron variant’s introduction into countries.


Kasai stated that strong attention to public health and social measures, as well as inoculation, are the two most effective methods in inhibiting the transmission of any version of the coronavirus.

“We can reduce severe sickness and mortality where vaccine coverage is high,” he said.

Dr. Socorro Escalante, WHO’s Coordinator for Essential Medicines and Health Technologies, stated the Western Pacific Region is “in good shape” in terms of vaccination availability against Covid-19.

Apart from encouraging everyone to get vaccinated, Escalante stressed the importance of caring for the population’s most vulnerable members, such as the elderly and those with comorbidities.

“By giving them booster doses, we can continue to safeguard those who are most at danger and vulnerable,” she said.

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