WHO head says 'dangerous' to assume pandemic is nearing end

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Jan 24 (Reuters) - The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it would be dangerous to assume that the highly transmissable Omicron was the last variant to emerge and that the world was in the 'end game' of the pandemic.

However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was possible this year to exit the acute phase of the pandemic where COVID-19 constitutes a global health emergency if strategies and tools such as testing and vaccines are used in a comprehensive way.

Speaking at the opening of Executive Board meeting, Tedros said since Omicron was first identified a little over nine weeks ago, more than 80 million cases had been reported to the U.N. agency, more than were reported in the whole of 2020.

"Conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge," he added. (Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru Editing by Gareth Jones)

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