WHO calls for greater vigilance amid fast-spreading Omicron variant

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World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai on Friday urged people to remain vigilant against the spread of the potentially more transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant.

The Manila-based WHO regional office said many countries are reporting detection of Omicron increasing daily. “Geographic distribution is likely already wider than currently reported,” warned the agency.

At a virtual press conference, Ka-sai stressed the need to prepare for new surges of COVID-19 in-fections driven by the Omicron variant, adding that information suggests that Omicron “may be more transmissible than other variants.”

Several countries, including the Philippines, have imposed travel restrictions to keep the Omicron variant out of their shores. How-ever, Kasai warned that “blanket travel bans can delay entry of the Omicron variant but will not pre-vent entry.”—APP

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