WHO says Omicron “is spreading at a faster rate than any variant of Covid-19” ever
The World Health Organization has revealed that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world.
Although the data has not yet explained whether this latest strain of Covid-19 is more dangerous or fatal, it is clear that its transmissibility is high.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained how Omicron has now been detected in 77 countries after being discovered late last month.
“And the reality is that Omicron is probably present in most countries, although it hasn’t been detected yet,” he said. “Omicron is spreading at a rate that we haven’t seen with any previous variant.”
The head of the health agency also told everyone that they need to take Omicron seriously.
Initial data from South Africa indicated that the variant might be “mild” compared to other strains like Delta, but that should not mean that it should be taken lighter.
“We are concerned that people will view Omicron as being gentle,” said Dr Tedros. “Surely we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril.
“Even if Omicron causes less severe disease, the large number of cases could again overwhelm unprepared health systems. ”
It comes as a grim prediction for New South Wales could soon see tens of thousands of coronavirus cases every day.
The Australian state today lifted restrictions for individuals, allowing unvaccinated residents to visit cafes, pubs and restaurants.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has warned that as the state gradually opens up internally, nationally and internationally, we could see many new cases.
“What they’re telling us is that by the end of January, we could be looking at 25,000 cases of the virus every day,” he said.
“So that brings us to about 175,000 in a week — that’s a big difference from 1,360 today — which is already a cause for concern.
“Stay outside if you can, wear these masks, get tested for viral symptoms, and just watch out for yourself and the community. Thank you.”
There are fears that Omicron is already wreaking havoc in the UK, with the strain accounting for 20% of current cases in England.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said there were more than 4,700 active Omicron cases, but the UK health agency predicts the number could be up to 20 times higher.
While New South Wales could have 25,000 cases a day, recent modeling predicted there could be a million Omicron infections in the UK by the end of the year.
The UK has reintroduced restrictions in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
Data reveals Omicron variant detected in Netherlands before Africa sounded the alarm.