Omicron: “Don’t panic, but be prepared for possible spread,” says WHO |

Foreshadowing South Africa and Botswana’s Decision to Announce Omicron coronavirus mutations last month, the UN health agency reiterated that it will take another two weeks before more is known about how contagious and how dangerous it is.

Speaking in Geneva, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier stressed that data indicating a high degree of transmission of Omicron were only preliminary.

Unnecessary travel bans

He also repeated WHO recommendations against general travel bansexcept for countries whose health systems have failed to withstand the surge in infections.

“It is much preferable to prepare your country, your healthcare system, for possible incoming cases because we can be confident that this Omicron variant will spread everywhere,” he said.

V The delta mutation, announced this summer as an option of concern, is now “prevailing.”, Added Mr. Lindmeier, “over 90 percent worldwide. This is how this virus behaves, and we, most likely, will not be able to keep it out of individual countries. “

A WHO spokesman also warned against a knee jerk reaction to reports that Omicron continues to spread.

“Let’s not hold back right now, let’s first get as much information as possible to make a correct risk assessment based on the information we have, and then let’s move on,” he said.

“Let’s not be completely worried or confused about individual data that are important individually but need to be pieced together for a joint assessment.”

Splash Team for South Africa Splash

The development comes as WHO said it is sending a technical support team to South Africa’s Gauteng province to monitor Omicron and help track contracts amid a surge in reinfections of the coronavirus.

On Thursday, WHO said that in the seven days to 30 November, South Africa reported a 311% increase in new cases from the previous seven days.

Cases in the province of Gauteng, where Johannesburg is located, have increased by 375 percent per week. Over the past seven days, the number of hospitalizations increased by 4.2% over the previous week. And COVID-19the number of deaths associated with the disease in the province jumped 28.6% over the previous seven days.

In announcing the deployment of the task force, Dr Salam Gueye, WHO Regional Director for Emergencies in Africa, noted that only 102 million Africans in Africa – 7.5 percent of the continent’s population – are currently fully vaccinated and more than 80 percent of the population is not. have been vaccinated. even received a single dose. “This is a dangerously large gap,” he said.

The WHO said in a statement that South Africa is reportedly seeing a rise in the number of patients contracting COVID-19 after they have already been infected, which was not the case with previous options, citing a microbiologist at the country’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD). …

Working with African governments to accelerate research and support the response to the new variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries to sequenced 75 to 150 samples weekly.

Discovery “bought world time”

The discovery and timely reporting of a new variant by Botswana and South Africa bought world time.”Said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“We have a window of opportunity, but we must act quickly and intensify detection and prevention. Countries must adjust their responses to COVID-19 and halt the rise in cases sweeping across Africa and possibly overwhelming already overwhelmed healthcare facilities. ”

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