The surge of coronavirus cases is expected to continue in the region, warned World Health Organisation (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) regional director Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari.

At an online Press conference yesterday he urged people to be cautious as the region had recorded almost 22.5 million confirmed cases and more than 344,000 deaths as of Sunday.

As many as 21 out of 22 countries have reported the detection of at least one variant of concern and the detection of the Omicron variant has been reported by 17 countries.“Over the past five weeks, the region has continued to observe an increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths because of the circulation of variants and the easing, or lifting, of public health and social measures in most countries,” he said.

“We anticipate this surge to continue for a few more weeks.“If countries ease public health and social measures, they must ensure these decisions are based on solid risk assessments,” he added. “

Individuals need to understand that the virus is still circulating and to continue protecting themselves with the known preventive measures – masks, social distancing, good ventilation, a good cough etiquette and so on.”

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