Friday, January 21

Ómicron advances at an unprecedented rate: WHO

“Currently 77 countries have reported cases of omicron, but the reality is that omicron is probably in most countries,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

The Omicron variant spreads “at a rate that we have not seen with no other variant ”, the World Health Organization warned this Tuesday (WHO), which estimates that most countries are already affected.

In Europe, the Netherlands announced the closure of primary schools from November 20, a week before the start of the Christmas holidays, and the extension of current sanitary restrictions until January 14, including the closure of non-commercial stores. essentials, bars and restaurants every day between 5:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

The United Kingdom, in the throes of contagion and with a first fatality due to omicron, also decided to apply new measures.

“At present, 77 countries have reported cases of Omicron, but the reality is that the variant is probably in most countries, although it has not yet been detected,” said the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference.

Third dose of vaccine

We are concerned that people regard Omicron as mild (…) Although Ómicron causes less serious diseases, the number of cases could once again overwhelm health systems that are not prepared ”, he added.

According to Abdi Mahamud, a WHO expert, the spread of this variant is so rapid that it could become dominant in several European countries by mid-December.

For his part, Dr. Bruce Aylward, adviser to the chief of the WHO, also warned: “We have a more transmissible virus of which we do not know very clearly its clinical evolution.”

At the gates of the end-of-year festivities, with many families gathering, “we could put ourselves in a very dangerous position.”

There are still many questions surrounding this new variant, which has again sown panic in the world since it was first identified in November in South Africa.

The WHO fears that rich countries, accelerating the application of third doses to the adult population, will accumulate immunizers, and the most disadvantaged nations will not be able to advance in their vaccination campaigns.

800,000 deaths from covid-19 in the United States

The death toll from covid-19 in the United States surpassed 800,000 this Tuesday amid nationwide vaccination campaigns and the arrival of the new Omicron variant, according to information from Johns Hopkins University.

The university noted that deaths from the pandemic virus are roughly equal to the population of Atlanta and St. Louis combined, or Minneapolis and Cleveland, and close to the number of Americans who die each year from heart disease or stroke.

These figures reaffirm the United States as the country with the highest fatalities in the world, and although the country represents approximately 4% of the world’s population, they also cover 15% of deaths from covid-19 of the 5.3 million deaths since the pandemic appeared.

Pfizer vaccine protects 70% against Omicron hospitalizations

On the other hand, a study prepared by the largest private health insurance agency in the country, Discovery, together with scientists from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), is based on the results of 78,000 PCR tests obtained between 15 November and December 7.

According to the results, Pfizer’s vaccine is globally less effective against symptomatic infection with the newest known variant of the coronavirus, but it does significantly protect against the severe course of covid-19 disease.

Also read:
Pfizer vaccine protects 70% against Omicron hospitalizations
Ómicron: What are vaccine manufacturers doing before the appearance of this variant of COVID
Ómicron: What is known and what is NOT known about this new variant of COVID

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