IANS

The way the novel coronavirus pandemic is developing suggests that the virus will never go away completely, WHO Representative to Russia Melita Vujnovic said on Sunday.

The virus will circulate as an endemic disease, TASS news agency quoted Vujnovic as saying on the Soloviev Live YouTube channel.

"Coronavirus is on its way to becoming an endemic disease. This means it won't go away. But we have to learn how to treat it and how to protect ourselves from it.

"Most importantly, we need to contain the outbreak of the infection now and reduce the number of those vulnerable to it. Otherwise, new variants will emerge in an unpredictable fashion," she said.

Further, Vujnovic noted that evidence indicates that the Omicron variant is less severe than other strains. However, its dangers should not be underestimated, and it is too early for the humanity to relax, she said.

"There is evidence now that Omicron seems to be less serious than (previous variants), but this does not mean that it should not be taken seriously. The coronavirus infection may lead to very serious consequences," she said.

"Apart from vaccination, it is of utmost importance now to follow other safeguards as well: to wear a face mask and change it at recommended intervals, to ventilate rooms and avoid large groups of people in confined spaces. This is very important," Vujnovic said.

Meanwhile, Russia registered 27,179 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 10,774,304, the official monitoring and response center said on Sunday.

The nationwide death toll grew by 723 to 320,634.

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