The World Health Organisation has said we are only at the “halfway mark” of the pandemic and warned against treating Covid like flu, days after the Government said it intended to do just that. MailOnline has the story.
David Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy for Covid, said the comparisons were irresponsible because they suggest coronavirus “has suddenly got incredibly weak”.
He told Sky News: “It can also mutate and form variants and we’ve seen several but we know there are more not far away.
“So quite honestly, we are not saying that this should be considered to be like flu or indeed like anything else – it’s a new virus, and we must go on treating it as though it is full of surprises, very nasty and rather cunning.”
The official called on leaders to “stay focused on the job” as he claimed we were only at the “halfway mark” of the pandemic.
Boris Johnson last week signalled his intention to lift isolation rules for Covid sufferers, highlighting that people with flu don’t legally have to quarantine.
And Health Secretary Sajid Javid pointed to the U.K.’s falling case numbers and relatively low hospital rates as he said “we need to learn to live with Covid in the same way we have to live with flu”.
Asked about the comparisons, Dr. Nabarro told Sky News: “I keep wondering what the people who make these amazing predictions know that I and my colleagues in the WHO don’t know.
“You see, what people are seeing from around the world and reporting to the WHO is this is still a very, very dangerous virus, especially for people who have not been vaccinated and who’ve not been exposed to it before.”
Did you spot the factual error there, saying Omicron was causing the same number of deaths as a bad flu season when deaths in the most recent week were well below average?
Dr. Nabarro’s comments also make no sense in the U.K. context, as he refers to “people who have not been vaccinated and who’ve not been exposed to it before”, which refers to almost zero percent of the U.K. population.
Will they ever let the emergency end?
Worth reading in full.