WHO Urges Nations To Plan For Omicron’s Likely Spread
The UN health agency also warned against overreacting to claims that Omicron has spread wider.
News Agency of Nigeria
While scientists continue to research COVID-19 Omicron variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned governments not to panic but to prepare for its anticipated spread.
WHO spokeswoman Christian Lindmeier, speaking in Geneva, underlined that the research demonstrating Omicron was highly transmissible was very preliminary.
It will take another two weeks, according to the UN health agency, to learn more about how transmissible and harmful the virus is.
He also reiterated the World Health Organization’s caution against blanket travel restrictions, with the exception of nations whose health systems could not handle a rise in illnesses.
“It is much more preferred to prepare your country, your health system to possibly incoming cases because we can be pretty sure that this Omicron variant will spread around,” he said.
The Delta mutation, which was designated as a variety of concern this summer, is now “predominant,” according to Lindmeier, “with over 90% all over the world.”
“This is how this virus behaves and we will not most likely be able to keep it out of individual countries.”
The WHO official also warned against overreacting to claims that Omicron had spread farther.
“Let’s not get deterred right now, let us first get as much information as possible to make the correct risk assessment based on the information that we will have and then let’s move on.
“Let’s not get completely worried or confused by individual information which are all individually important, but which need to be brought together in order to assess together,” he said.
In response to a spike in coronavirus reinfections, WHO has dispatched a technical surge team to South Africa’s Gauteng province to monitor Omicron and assist with contact tracing.
According to WHO, in the seven days leading up to Nov. 30, South Africa recorded a 311 percent rise in new cases compared to the previous seven days.
The number of cases in Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, has surged by 375 percent week on week.
Hospital admissions increased by 4.2 percent in the last week compared to the previous week, while COVID-19-related mortality in the province increased by 28.6 percent.
Only 102 million Africans, or 7.5% of the continent’s population, are completely vaccinated, according to Dr Salam Gueye, WHO Regional Emergency Director for Africa.
He said that more than 80% of the population had not gotten even a single dosage, a dangerously large gap.
According to a microbiologist from the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa is seeing more individuals get COVID-19 after previously being infected, something it did not observe with prior varieties.
WHO is pushing nations to sequence between 75 and 150 samples weekly, in collaboration with African governments, to speed up investigations and boost responsiveness to the new variation.
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