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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

WHO about Omicron most spreading in popularity countries

WHO about Omicron

Key Takeaways:

  • The WHO chief told reporters that the Omicron strain of COVID-19 had been reported in 77 countries.
  • COVID-19 had “probably” spread undetected to the majority of them.

ON TUESDAY, the WHO issued a warning that Omicron was spreading at an unprecedented rate and urged countries to act as drug manufacturers. However, Pfizer claimed that its coronavirus medication was effective against the variant.

Dutch primary schools will close early as Europe battles a new wave of infections and hospital admissions. At the same time, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a major parliamentary test in his bid to impose new Covid curbs.

Omicron, which was discovered by South Africa and reported to the WHO on November 24, has many mutations, which has raised concerns since its discovery.

Early evidence suggests it may be resistant to vaccines and more transmissible than the Delta variant discovered in India and accounts for most coronavirus cases worldwide.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the strain had been reported in 77 countries and had “probably” spread undetected to the majority of them “at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant.”

World Health Organization’s Director-General; Image from NDTV News

‘Risky Situation’

Although Britain confirmed what is believed to be the world’s first Omicron death on Monday, there is no evidence that Omicron causes more severe illness.

On Tuesday, the WHO expressed cautious optimism, stating that Africa had seen a massive increase in cases over the past week but a lower number of deaths when compared to previous waves.

It did, however, urge countries to act quickly to reduce transmission and protect their healthcare systems, and it warned against complacency. Bruce Aylward, a WHO expert, cautioned against “jumping to the conclusion that this is a mild disease.”

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The warning came as Pfizer announced on Tuesday that clinical trials of its Covid pill reduced hospital admissions and deaths in at-risk people by nearly 90%.

The American pharmaceutical company’s new treatment, Paxlovid, outperformed Omicron in lab testing.

Chief executive Albert Bourla called the news a “game-changer,” adding that he expected approval from the US Food or Drug Administration as soon as this month.

“This news gives us another potentially powerful tool in our fight against the virus, including the Omicron variant,” US Vice President Joe Biden added.

A real-world study from South Africa found that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were 70% effective in preventing severe Omicron illness.

Source: NDTV News

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