It remains “unclear” whether Omicron’s COVID variant is more transmissible or more severe than Delta: WHO |

UN health agency experts said researchers in South Africa and around the world are currently conducting research to better understand aspects of Omicron, but it is unclear at this point if it is more transmissible compared to other options, including Delta. …

“The number of people testing positive has increased in the areas of South Africa affected by this option, but epidemiological studies are underway to see if this is due to Omicron or other factors.” WHOVirus Evolution Technical Advisory Group (TAG-VE) Explained in the statement.

The group also stressed that it is unclear whether Omicron infection causes more severe disease. compared to infections with other options.

“While preliminary data suggest that hospital admissions are on the rise in South Africa, this may be due to an increase in the total number of people infected, and not as a result of a specific infection with Omicron,” the experts said.

They added that there is currently no information to suggest that Omicron is causing various COVID-19 symptoms.

Higher risk of re-infection

However, TAG-VE confirmed that preliminary evidence indicates that people who have previously been infected with COVID-19 may more easily get reinfected with Omicron compared to other anxiety options.

So far, the initially reported infections have been in younger people, who tend to have milder disease, “but it will take days to weeks to understand the severity of the Omicron variant,” the experts said.

The group stressed that it is working with partners to understand the potential impact of this option on vaccines, the effectiveness of current PCR tests and existing treatments, but more information is still needed.

IMF / James Outway

A volunteer named Trinity works at a COVID-19 Field Hospital in Nasrek, Johannesburg.

Keep the boundaries open and follow the science

As more countries impose flight bans for southern African countries over concerns over the Omicron option, the UN health agency has urged them to follow the evidence and the International Health Regulations calling to “keep borders open.”

While travel restrictions may play a role in slightly reducing the spread of COVID-19, ‘they place a heavy burden on life and livelihoods’, This is stated in the message of the agency, published on Sunday.

“If restrictions are imposed, they should not be overly aggressive or intrusive and should be scientifically based in accordance with the International Health Regulations, which are a legally binding instrument of international law recognized by more than 190 countries,” said WHO.

While research on the Omicron variant continues, the UN agency recommends that countries take a risk-based scientific approach and take measures that could limit its possible spread.

“With the Omicron variant now found in several regions of the world, the imposition of travel bans targeting Africa is undermining global solidarity. COVID-19 is constantly exploiting our units. We can only defeat the virus if we work together to find solutions, ”said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Flight bans have been imposed on southern African countries, but so far only two have discovered a new option. Meanwhile, countries in other regions have reported cases of Omicron.

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