By Tonny Abet
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against overreliance on Covid-19 vaccines as 77 countries report cases of Omicron variant.
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, has told an online press briefing that countries should revive basic preventive measures such as hand washing and wearing facemasks to minimize Omicron transmission.
He noted that even if Omicron causes less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director of Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), the center that detected the first seven cases of Omicron in the country, appeals to Ugandans to adhere to preventive measures.
“Covid vaccines go a long way in preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death but it is not the only way. People have to do other interventions including treatment in case people get sick. Recipients of some vaccines like Pfizer may need to get the third dose for better protection against Omicron,” he said.
He said they are still continuing with surveillance but he declined to comment on whether more cases of Omicron have been detected in Uganda. He referred this reporter to Ministry of Health officials.
The coronavirus has so far infected 128,212 people and killed 3,269 since the outbreak last year. A total of 7.9million out of 30 million doses of vaccines have so far been administered in the country since the vaccination started in the country in March this year, according to government statistics.