WHO Europe Says Omicron Surge To Push Healthcare To Brink


New Delhi: Even as the European nations introduce more curbs to battle the significant surge in Covid-19 infections, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said “another storm is coming” and the Omicron variant will dominate within weeks in more countries of the region pushing already stretched health systems further to the brink.

“We can see another storm coming. Within weeks, omicron will dominate in more countries of the region, pushing already stretched health systems further to the brink,” said WHO Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge.

He added that infections by the Omicron variant have been detected in at least 38 of the WHO European region’s 53 members.

Addressing a press conference in Vienna, the WHO official dominant dominant variant that Omicron is already the United Kingdom, Denmark and Portugal.

Asserting that 27,000 people died due to Covid-19 infection in the region over the last week, Kluge said that an additional 2.6 million new coronavirus cases were reported during the same period.

Advising all to take precautions, WHO Europe Regional Director said the sheer volume of new Covid-19 infections could lead to more hospitalisations and widespread disruption to health systems and other critical services.

Kluge said the Omicron variant has mostly been spread in the region by the young people in their 20s and 30s.

The WHO official informed that 89% of those with confirmed Omicron infection in Europe reported symptoms common to other coronavirus variants’ infections, including fever, cough and sore throat.

Advising the governments in the European nations to step up their Covid vaccination campaigns and introduce additional infection-prevention measures besides preparing critical infrastructure to fight the upcoming surge, Kluge said the Omicron variant appears to be more infectious than the previous variants.

He added that this would lead to “previously unseen transmission rates” in the nations with a significant number of the Omicron variant cases.

The WHO official’s observations come as the Omicron variant is already dominant in several countries, including the United States.

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