As Omicron spreads, the World Health Organization’s European leader warned on Tuesday that countries can expect a “substantial rise” in COVID-19 cases, and recommended that boosters be widely used for protection.
According to Hans Kluge, Omicron has been found in at least 38 of the 53 nations in the WHO’s European area since its discovery in late November, and is already prevalent in some of them, including Denmark, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
Kluge prophesied, “Another storm is on its way.” “Within weeks, Omicron will have established a stronghold in other countries across the region, putting even more strain on already overcrowded health systems.”
Russia and other former Soviet countries, as well as Turkey, are part of the WHO’s Europe area.
According to WHO data, the region has recently reported the greatest number of COVID-19 cases per capita anywhere. Officials had predicted another 700,000 deaths from the epidemic by March even before Omicron.
Vaccine boosters should be saved for the most vulnerable, according to WHO headquarters in Geneva, but Kluge encouraged people to “boost, boost, boost.”
“Against Omicron, the booster is the single most critical defence,” he explained.
A request for response on Kluge’s comments was not immediately returned by a WHO representative.
According to Kluge, 89 percent of early Omicron cases in Europe have so far been connected to COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, sore throat, and fever. He observed that the bulk of cases had been documented among adults in their 20s and 30s, and that the virus had spread first in cities at social and work meetings.
“Governments and authorities must prepare our reaction mechanisms for a major surge,” according to the report.
Omicron is spreading quicker than the Delta form, according to the WHO, producing illnesses in persons who have already been vaccinated or who have recovered from the sickness. Its chief scientist has stated that assuming it is a milder version based on early evidence is “unwise.”