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2022 must be year 'we end the pandemic:' WHO chief******
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrives for a press conference at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on December 20.。
The world must pull together and make the difficult choices needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic within the next year, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.。
"2022 must be the year we end the pandemic," the World Health Organization's director-general told reporters in Geneva.。
As end-of-year festivities approach, the UN health agency chief said countries should rein in national events linked to the holidays because allowing crowds to gather would be a "perfect platform" for Omicron to spread.。
It would be better to cancel events now and celebrate later "than to celebrate now and grieve later," he added.。
Since it was first reported in South Africa in November, Omicron has been identified in dozens of countries, dashing hopes that the worst of the pandemic is over.。
'Really fast' spread。
The WHO has said the heavily mutated variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate.。
"There is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant," Tedros said, cautioning that the strain appears to have the ability to double its infections every 1.5 to three days.。
"That is really fast."
In addition to increased transmissibility, early data has shown signs of worrying resistance to vaccines.。
There have also however been indications that it is sparking less severe symptoms than previous strains, but WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told Monday's press conference it was "early days to conclude that this is a milder variant."
She warned that South Africa and other places reporting lower hospitalization rates from Omicron had been hit hard in earlier waves, so many of the Omicron cases may have been reinfections.。
"The variant may be behaving differently in people with prior immunity," she said.。
Tedros pointed out that regardless of the variant's severity, "the sheer number of cases... may overwhelm the health system" and more people could die.。
More than 5.3 million people have died since the start of the pandemic, though the true toll is believed to be several times higher.。
Amid growing concern over Omicron, many governments are scrambling to roll out vaccine booster shots to populations, with early data suggesting that a third dose offers increased protection against the variant.。
But the WHO has repeatedly voiced concern that such booster programs could deepen already glaring inequity in vaccine access between wealthy and poorer countries.。
Many vulnerable people around the world are still waiting for a first vaccine dose, and the UN health agency has said it is better to prioritize them over providing fully vaccinated health adults with boosters.。
"If we are to end the pandemic in the coming year, we must end inequity," Tedros said.。
Mainz shock struggling Augsburg 4******
BERLIN, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Mainz showed no mercy with Augsburg and paved the way for the win with three goals within 26 minutes to secure all three points on home soil at the opener of the 9th round in Bundesliga on Friday.
The hosts wasted no time and took the reins with the kick-off as Jonathan Burkardt forced Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz into action with only two minutes gone.
Mainz completed their perfect start into the game with 10 minutes played when Karim Onisiwo benefitted on Robert Gumny's missed clearance before tapping the ball past hapless Giekiewicz.
Augsburg was shocked and couldn't respond whereas Mainz poured forward and doubled its advantage five minutes later when Burkardt's good build-up work and pass allowed Stefan Bell to slot home right footed from inside the box.
The "Fuggerstadter" couldn't put up some resistance and had to swallow another goal from Mainz as Onisiwo's pinpoint cross to the far point found Burkardt, who made it three by header in the 26th minute.
Mainz continued relentless and should have made it four ten minutes later but for all that unmarked Onisiwo couldn't beat Giekiewicz from very close range.
Just before the half time, Giekiewicz prevented a higher deficit for his squad again after neutralizing Burkardt's dangerous ball from inside the area.
After the restart, Augsburg assumed control as Mainz seemed content with its three-goal lead. Still, the visitors had to wait until the 69th minute before Andi Zeqiri finished off Andre Hahn's through ball to make it 3-1 on the scoreboards.
It was a short-lived joy for Augsburg though as Mainz remained unimpressed and restored its three-goal lead only two minutes later when Onisiwo teed up for Burkardt, who snatched his brace and killed the game in the 71st minute.
With the result, Mainz return to winning ways and secure and climb on the 6th spot meanwhile Augsburg suffered its 5th defeat and stay on the 16th place.
"I am satisfied with the performance in the first half. After the break we eased off for good 20 minutes. I did not like that, but I saw a lot of positive things today," said Mainz head coach Bo Svensson.
"What can I say. We staged a poor performance and Mainz dominated us. They are not Bayern, but they still did what they wanted with us. If we continue to play like this, we will relegate, and every team member needs to know this" said Augsburg goalkeeper Gikiewicz.
The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich host Hoffenheim, Arminia Bielefeld encounter runner-up Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg clash with Freiburg, Leipzig see newly promoted Greuther Furth and Hertha Berlin face Borussia Monchengladbach. Enditem