January 21, 2022

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Corona virus: the omicron variant spreads faster and weakens vaccines, according to the World Health Organization

According to current data, the variant causes less severe symptoms.

The World Health Organization said, on Sunday, that the Omicron Corona virus variant is more contagious than the Delta variant and reduces the effectiveness of vaccines in protecting against infection and the spread of the virus. On the other hand, according to preliminary data, it causes less severe symptoms of the disease. This was reported by Agence France-Presse.

At the same time, the World Health Organization emphasized that due to a lack of data, it was unable to determine whether a higher level of omicron infection was associated with a lower immune response, a higher susceptibility to transmission, or a combination of both.

“Currently available data indicate that Omicron has the potential to replace the delta variant where community (virus) spread,” the WHO added. So far, the omicron variant has caused mild or no symptoms in affected people, but current statistics are not sufficient for the World Health Organization to determine the clinical severity of this variant.

Most cases in the world are currently associated with the delta variant, which was identified in India this year. However, in November, researchers in South Africa (JAR) confirmed the first cases of omicrons, which are characterized by a large number of mutations. Many countries later adopted travel restrictions to South African countries for fear of spreading the virus and re-imposing local restrictions.

Britain tightens measures

By December 9, the WHO variant of omicron had been confirmed in 63 countries. In addition to the Republic of South Africa, a faster spread was also recorded in Britain. On Sunday, another 1,239 cases of omicron were detected in Britain, taking the number to 3,137. This is a 65 per cent increase from Saturday’s figures.

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Britain decided to raise the Covid-19 warning from three to four on a five-point scale due to the sharp rise in Omicron cases on Sunday. This means that the prevalence (infection) is high and the pressure on health services is widespread, significant or increasing.

AFP writes that countries with adequate supplies of vaccine doses, such as France and the United Kingdom, are urging them to vaccinate with a third dose to combat the spread of omicrons. The Pfizer/BioNTech consortium announced last week that three doses of its vaccine could provide protection against the omicron variant.