WHO Says Omicron Risk Remains Very High

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GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP)— The risk posed by the Omicron variant is still “very high”, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, after COVID-19 case numbers shot up by 11 per cent globally last week.

Omicron is behind rapid virus spikes in several countries, including those where it has already overtaken the previously-dominant Delta variant, the WHO said in its COVID-19 weekly epidemiological update.

“The overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high,” the UN health agency said.

“Consistent evidence shows that the Omicron variant has a growth advantage over the Delta variant with a doubling time of two to three days and rapid increases in the incidence of cases is seen in a number of countries,” including Britain and the United States, where it has become the dominant variant.

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“The rapid growth rate is likely to be a combination of both immune evasion and intrinsic increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant.”

However, the WHO highlighted the 29 per cent decrease in the incidence of cases observed in South Africa — the country which first reported the variant to the WHO on November 24.

It said early data from Britain, South Africa and Denmark — which currently has the world’s highest rate of infection per person — suggested there was a reduced risk of hospitalisation for Omicron compared to Delta.

However, further data was needed to understand Omicron’s severity in terms of clinical markers, including the use of oxygen, mechanical ventilation and death.

More data was also required on how the severity might be being impacted by previous COVID infection, or vaccination.

“It is also expected that corticosteroids and interleukin 6 receptor blockers will remain effective in the management of patients with severe disease,” the WHO said.

“However, preliminary data suggest that monoclonal antibodies may be less able to neutralise the Omicron variant.”

The WHO said that in the week ending Sunday, following a gradual increase since October, the global number of new cases rose by 11 per cent compared to the previous week, while the number of new deaths dipped by four per cent.

“This corresponds to just under five million new cases and over 44,000 new deaths,” the Geneva-based organisation said.

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from the United States, Britain, France and Italy.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Lies! Lies! Lies! Despite repeated reports from the experts at the epicenter of the new varient, WHO and other so called experts insist on sowing fear in the hearts and minds of the population. The evidence is out there people take some time to research it for yourself

  2. Here are some comments, seen on the internet, which align with my view of the Covid-19 story:

    “…mark me down as one who is curious about the special place awarded to a pandemic, one where we all are expected to sing from the same hymn book – hooray for vaccines (which barely work, it appears, or do, but only for a short while), usher in the masks and follow the science, including on restrictions, lockdown, tanking of the economy and outright destruction of the social milieu that sustain our young.

    My own doubts are continually fed by those few strange things that should have happened but didn’t. Among the dogs that just won’t bark, are:

    1. Sputnik – by all accounts the most effective – and safest – vaccine (as shown in places where it’s been administered along with other vaccines) is still treated as persona-non-grata by the WHO (which is chock-full of the ONLY scientists who we are asked to trust, despite their fealty to Big Pharma), the CDC, the EU regulators, and indeed by the entirety of the official West’s healthcare industry. Sputnik, which has already been seen as far more effective even against the Omicron variant. At this point there’s only one question that needs asking: why the vaccine-hesitancy on the part of the west?

    2. The all-out campaign against Ivermectin, a drug that is by all accounts quite safe and has been used for over 40 years to treat infectious diseases such as malaria. Yes, we all understand that it’s not covered by a patent any longer and is cheaper, but even so, why the venom against people who may want to keep some on their shelves? Where’s the harm in that and why put all that effort out to discredit any account that Ivermectin, taken early, and along with other things like vitamins, can and has helped people avoid more serious health impacts once infected?

    3. The bizarre, wall-to-wall denial that the mRNA vaccines in particular, do have side effects, some more serious than others. Why can’t people be made aware of these and offered alternative vaccines should they so choose, at least in the US?

    4. Why not offer – on a wide scale – antibody testing to determine the level of immunity against the virus people have at any given time, be it through natural immunity (having been infected before) or through vaccines? This is the one sensible thing to do, IMHO, to establish what/where/to what extent any given gathering is safe; such as schools, events, cruise ships, etc.

    These are just some of the questions I have, the most significant ones.

    For the record: I have been vaccinated with the J&J (including a booster) as this was the only alternative open to me in the US (would have gladly taken the Sputnik of course, but alas, this was not an option if I wanted to travel).”

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