WHO cites human behavior more than variants as virus spreads

The emergencies chief of World Health Organization said that the impact of the emerging new variants of COVID-19 in places like the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil remains to be seen, citing human behavior for some recent rises in infection counts.

Dr. Michael Ryan noted, “It’s just too easy to lay the blame on the variant and say, ‘It’s the virus that did it.’ Well unfortunately, it’s also what we didn’t do that did it.”

That was an allusion to holiday merrymaking and other social contacts plus loosening adherence – in pockets – to calls from public health officials for people to respect measures like physical distancing, regular hand hygiene and mask-wearing.

The WHO’s Emergencies Committee also called on vaccine manufacturers to make information about the products more available to the WHO, saying delays can affect the United Nations health agency’s ability to provide emergency-use listings that could allow for “equitable vaccine access.”

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