The World Well being Group’s European head on Tuesday warned international locations to brace for a “vital surge” in COVID-19 instances as Omicron spreads, and suggested the widespread use of boosters for cover.
Because it emerged in late November, Omicron has been detected in no less than 38 of the 53 international locations within the WHO’s European area and is already dominant in a number of of them together with Denmark, Portugal and the UK, Hans Kluge advised a information convention in Vienna.
“We will see one other storm coming,” mentioned Kluge. “Inside weeks, Omicron will dominate in additional international locations of the area, pushing already stretched well being programs additional to the brink.”
The WHO’s Europe area consists of Russia and different former Soviet republics, in addition to Turkey.
WHO information reveals the area has in current weeks reported the very best variety of COVID-19 instances in comparison with the inhabitants measurement anyplace. Even earlier than Omicron, officers had warned of an additional 700,000 deaths from the illness by March.
WHO headquarters in Geneva has suggested that vaccine boosters be saved for essentially the most weak, however Kluge urged folks to “enhance, enhance, enhance.”
“The booster is the only most essential defence towards Omicron,” he mentioned.
A WHO spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a request to touch upon Kluge’s remarks.
Thus far, 89% of the early Omicron instances in Europe had been related to widespread COVID-19 signs comparable to cough, sore throat and fever, Kluge mentioned. Most instances had been reported amongst adults of their 20s and 30s, spreading initially in cities at social and office gatherings, he added.
“The sheer quantity of recent COVID-19 infections might result in extra hospitalizations and widespread disruption to well being programs and different crucial companies,” he mentioned.
“Governments and authorities want to arrange our response programs for a big surge.”
The WHO mentioned on Monday that Omicron is spreading quicker than the Delta variant, inflicting infections in folks already vaccinated or recovered from the illness. Its chief scientist has known as it “unwise” to conclude from early proof it’s a milder variant than earlier ones.
(This story has not been edited by wantpassport workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)