Possibility of new COVID variants really high, warns WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the Omicron variant of COVID will not be the last one and the possibility of other new variants is really high.

During the latest press briefing, the WHO epidemiologist and technical lead on Covid-19 Dr Maria Van Kerkhove warned that the next Covid-19 variant will be more transmissible, and perhaps, more deadly than its predecessors. She said, the global health agency is tracking four different versions of Omicron.

However, Dr Kerkhove stressed on the importance of getting vaccinated as it protects against severe illness and death, as exhibited during the Omicron wave.

According to the UN health agency’s latest report, the Omicron variant is increasingly dominant making up nearly 97 per cent of all cases.

The WHO lamented that half a million COVID deaths had been recorded since the Omicron variant was discovered, calling the count beyond tragic. The WHO’s incident manager Abdi Mahamud said that 130 million cases and 500,000 deaths had been recorded globally since Omicron was declared a variant of concern in late November. Dr Van Kerkhove said, she was extremely concerned that the numbers of deaths had increased for several weeks in a row. This virus continues to be dangerous.

However, the WHO said coronavirus case counts fell 17 percent worldwide over the last week compared to the previous week, including a 50 percent drop in the US, while deaths globally declined 7 percent.

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