Geneva | The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday that the risk posed to the world by the highly contagious variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, remains “extremely high”.
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The World Health Organization warns in its Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin that “the overall risk associated with the new worrying variant Omicron remains very high”.
WHO adds: “Reliable evidence shows that the Omicron variant has a growth advantage over the delta variant at a multiplication rate of two to three days,” noting that “a rapid increase in the incidence of cases has been observed in a number of countries.”
“The rapid growth is likely related to a combination between the loss of immunity and an intrinsic increase in the transmissibility of the omicron variant,” the same source said.
However, the WHO highlighted a 29% drop in cases in South Africa, which was the first country to report this variant to the WHO on November 24.
The World Health Organization previously indicated that data from Britain, South Africa and Denmark – which currently have the highest infection rates – indicate a lower risk of hospitalization for omicron compared to the delta formula.
However, more data is needed to understand the seriousness that Omicron represents in terms of clinical signs, including oxygen use, mechanical ventilation, and mortality. Also, how this risk might be affected by a previous COVID infection or vaccination.
According to the World Health Organization, the total number of new cases in the week ending Sunday increased by 11% from the previous week, while the number of deaths decreased by 4%.
“This corresponds to just under 5 million new cases and more than 44,000 new deaths,” the WHO added.
The largest number of cases were recorded in the United States, Great Britain, France and Italy.
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