WHO head for Europe on A2 CNN: The pandemic is not over

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The pandemic of Covid-19 is far from over. The World Health Organization believes that such a decision is not yet necessary. Hans Kluge, the head of the WHO for Europe, tells A2 CNN about the scenarios that await us this winter, while considering American President Joe Biden’s brave for saying that the pandemic has already ended.

“President Biden is a brave man, and while optimism is healthy, we will most likely have to live with this virus. We should not talk about the pandemic too soon, but I believe we have passed the acute phase. Covid-19 will return like the flu even if we don’t find a new variant. We need to change our mindset and get vaccinated once a year. For example, if there is another wave, people should not hesitate to wear masks and keep a safe distance. But there will be no total social closure because, in addition to economic damage, it caused psychological problems “Kluge claims

The WHO’s European Regional Director also discusses anti-Covid vaccination. Kluge highlights the benefits of getting a dose annually in addition to the flu shot for people over 60, even though interest in it has significantly decreased.

“We will not be surprised if a new wave of Covid-19 appears, as we were the first time. We are much better prepared than we were two winters ago. But I see two possibilities. The first is the continuation of the Omicron variant combined with seasonal flu, which means more infections but not necessarily more hospitalizations and deaths. As a result, our policies are as follows: 1: Continue booster vaccination for risk groups, including people over the age of 60, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and medical personnel. And, second, all countries must be monitored for any cases of the new variant of Covid-19; there must be a surveillance system in place for people to cope with viruses and not end up on ventilators. While the second scenario, which we cannot rule out, is the emergence of a new variant that avoids immunity, I am generally optimistic “.

Mr. Kluge, who is returning to Tirana after two years for a conference on the effects of the pandemic on young people, has an opinion on how Albania dealt with Covid-19. “Albania has followed a straight line in order to protect citizens’ health as well as the economy. Because there must be a balance maintained. If it is kept closed longer than necessary, people suffer economic losses; if it is kept open longer than necessary, the virus wreaks havoc on their health. Albania, in my opinion, has done an excellent job. We need to look forward. Albania and the Balkan countries should boost vaccination rates with booster shots “.

According to the World Health Organization, Covid-19 will not cause another global shutdown. According to research, the pandemic harmed both mental health and the economy. While depression and fatigue increased by 25% in Europe alone.