London [UK], December 5 (ANI/Sputnik): The emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant brought the world back to square one in dealing with the pandemic, the former UK government scientific advisor and director of Wellcome Trust, Jeremy Farrar, said.
"This variant reminds us all that we remain closer to the start of the pandemic than the end," Farrar said in his article for the Observer on Saturday.
The scientist expressed his concern for countries that have limited access to vaccines. He also added that while he is "cautiously hopeful" that the currently developed COVID-19 vaccines will protect all those fully inoculated from catching and falling severely ill with the new variant, this could not be entirely true for the next variant.
"The longer this virus continues to spread in largely unvaccinated populations globally, the more likely it is that a variant that can overcome our vaccines and treatments will emerge. If that happens, we could be close to square one," Farrar stressed.
According to Farrar, if a global vaccine supply can be ensured, we could prevent the emergence of an even newer variant. He, therefore, called on rich countries to share their extra vaccine supplies with poorer nations over the coming months.
Farrar also reminded all of the importance to continue wearing masks in indoor spaces and follow social distancing measures.
The scientist resigned from his position as government scientific advisor last month amid claims that the UK government's response to the COVID-19 situation in the country was "concerning." (ANI/Sputnik)