López-Gatell Says World Overreacting to Omicron Variant

Mexico’s covid-19 czar Hugo López-Gatell. Photo: presidencia.gob.mx


Mexican Undersecretary of Public Health Hugo López-Gatell said Saturday, Nov. 27, that global concerns over the new Omicron covid-19 variant are exaggerated and that “there is no scientific evidence” that the strain is more deadly.

López-Gatell, who is Mexico’s covid-19 czar and who, for months, famously recommended against the use of face masks to contain the disease, said on social media Saturday that the international medical and financial worlds had “overreacted” to the emergence of the new strain.

The announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the Omicron strain as a “varient of concern” sent stock markets around the global — including in Mexico –reeling Friday, Nov. 26, and caused many countries to close their borders to prevent contagient.

But López-Gatell said that “it has not been shown that Omicron has any greater transmissibility than previous strains of covid.”

He also said that the information currently being disseminated by the media and health experts about the risks of the new variant is “disproportionate.”

Currently, Mexico is on the verge of entering its fourth wave of covid, which, as of Friday, had infected nearly 3.9 million Mexicans, killing 293,859, according to government figures, although most analysts say that the real numbers are far higher since very little testing is done in the country.



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