Omicron: countries should not panic but prepare for likely spread, says WHO

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Heralding South Africa’s and Botswana’s determination to study the quality of the Omicron coronavirus mutation past month, the UN wellness bureau repeated that it volition instrumentality different 2 weeks earlier much is known astir however transmissible and however unsafe it really is.

Speaking successful Geneva, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier stressed that data suggesting that Omicron was highly transmissible was lone preliminary.

Unnecessary question bans

He besides repeated WHO proposal against broad question bans, but for countries whose wellness systems were incapable to withstand a surge successful infections.

“It is overmuch much preferred to hole your country, your wellness strategy to perchance incoming cases due to the fact that we tin beryllium beauteous definite that this Omicron variant volition dispersed around,” helium said.

The Delta mutation – declared a variant of interest this summertime – is present “predominant”, Mr. Lindmeier added, “with implicit 90 per cent each astir the world. This is however this microorganism behaves and we volition not astir apt beryllium capable to support it retired of idiosyncratic countries.”

The WHO authoritative besides cautioned against knee-jerk reactions to reports that Omicron had continued to spread.

“Let’s not get deterred close now, fto america archetypal get arsenic overmuch accusation arsenic imaginable to marque the close hazard appraisal based connected the accusation that we volition person and past let’s determination on,” helium said.

“Let’s not get wholly disquieted oregon confused by idiosyncratic accusation which are each individually important, but which request to beryllium brought unneurotic successful bid to measure together.”

Surge squad for South Africa spike

The improvement comes arsenic WHO said that it was sending a method surge squad to South Africa’s Gauteng state to show Omicron and assistance with declaration tracing, amid a spike successful coronavirus reinfections.

For the 7 days starring to 30 November, South Africa reported a 311 per cent summation successful caller cases, compared with the erstwhile 7 days, WHO said connected Thursday.

Cases successful Gauteng province, wherever Johannesburg is located, person accrued by 375 per cent week connected week. Hospital admissions determination roseate 4.2 per cent successful the past 7 days from the erstwhile week. And COVID-19-related deaths successful the state jumped 28.6 per cent from the erstwhile 7 days.

Announcing the surge squad deployment, Dr Salam Gueye, WHO Regional Emergency Director for Africa, noted that conscionable 102 cardinal Africans successful Africa – 7.5 per cent of the continental colonisation – are present afloat vaccinated and that much than 80 per cent of the colonisation has not received adjacent a azygous dose. “This is simply a dangerously wide gap,” helium said.

In a statement, WHO said that South Africa is reportedly seeing much patients contracting COVID-19 aft having already been infected, successful a mode it did not with erstwhile variants, citing a microbiologist from the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

Working with African governments to accelerate studies and bolster the effect to the caller variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries to series betwixt 75 and 150 samples weekly.

Detection ‘bought the satellite time’

The detection and timely reporting of the caller variant by Botswana and South Africa has bought the satellite time,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“We person a model of accidental but indispensable enactment rapidly and ramp up detection and prevention measures. Countries indispensable set their COVID-19 effect and halt a surge successful cases from sweeping crossed Africa and perchance overwhelming already-stretched wellness facilities.”

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