Possibility of new Covid-19 variants really high, warns WHO

Describing the brand new Covid-19 variants because the “wild card”, a high World Well being Group official has warned that the Omicron is not going to be the final one and the opportunity of different new variants is actually excessive.

Throughout a query and reply session that dwell streamed on WHO’s social media platforms on Tuesday, the WHO Covid-19 Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove mentioned that the worldwide well being company is monitoring 4 totally different variations of Omicron.

“We all know lots about this virus, however we do not know every part. And fairly frankly, the variants are the wild card. So we’re monitoring this virus in actual time because it mutates because it changesBut this virus has a variety of room to maneuver,” she mentioned.

“Omicron is the most recent variant of concern. It is not going to be the final variant of concern that WHO will talk about. The following one, you already know, that may come, hopefully, it can take a while to get there. However with the extent of depth of unfold, the chance that we’ll produce other variants is actually excessive,” she mentioned.

“So we have to be sure that we once more not solely enhance vaccination protection, however we additionally take measures to cut back the unfold,” she added.

Because the designation of B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern on November 26, 2021, a number of lineages have been recognized.

These embrace Pango lineages BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2 and BA.3, that are all being monitored by WHO underneath the umbrella of Omicron’.

“BA.2 is extra transmissible than BA.1 so we anticipate to see BA.2 rising in detection around the globe,” Van Kerkhove mentioned.

In keeping with the UN well being company’s weekly epidemiological report, launched on Tuesday, the Omicron variant is more and more dominant – making up practically 97 per cent of all instances.

“The prevalence of the Omicron variant has elevated globally and is now detected in virtually all international locations. Nevertheless, most of the international locations which reported an early rise within the variety of instances as a result of Omicron variant have now reported a decline within the whole variety of new instances for the reason that starting of January 2022,” it mentioned.

Globally, throughout the week of January 31 to February 6, the variety of new Covid-19 instances decreased by 17% as in comparison with the quantity reported throughout the earlier week, whereas the variety of new deaths elevated by 7%.

As of February 6, over 392 million confirmed instances and over 5.7 million deaths have been reported globally.

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