COVID-19 remains a threat as a virus variant has been spreading steadily around the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.
“This virus, SARS-CoV-2, is circulating in every country right now, and it still poses a threat,” WHO expert Maria Van Kerkhove said.
However, Van Kerkhove was the WHO’s technical lead during the coronavirus pandemic that struck in 2019 and is now the UN health agency’s interim director for epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention.
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“We have to remain vigilant because the virus is circulating, evolving, and changing,” she told a discussion on the WHO’s social media channels.
“We don’t see a change in severity” compared to other variant sub-lineages, Van Kerkhove said, but “we’ve seen a slow and steady increase in its detection around the world”.
Besides acute infection and disease, the WHO is also concerned about the long-term effects caused by the virus, known collectively as Long Covid, or post-Covid conditions.
“We do have evidence that vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines does reduce the risk of post-COVID conditions,” Van Kerkhove said.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic killed millions of people and wreaked economic and social havoc.
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