The Omicron variant is resulting in a “interval of quiet” and a doable finish to the pandemic in Europe, well being officers say
The World Well being Group (WHO) claimed on Sunday that there would possibly lastly be an finish to the Covid pandemic in Europe, after the speedy unfold of the Omicron variant.
“It’s believable that the area is approaching an finish to the pandemic,” Regional Director Hans Kluge instructed the AFP information company.
He cautioned that folks ought to nonetheless take precautions, as a result of coronavirus’ skill to mutate, however predicted a “interval of quiet” following Omicron.
“We anticipate there might be a stage of quiet earlier than Covid-19 could come again in the direction of the tip of the 12 months, however not essentially the pandemic,” he mentioned.
Kluge mentioned a stage of “international immunity” may very well be reached for a interval of weeks or months due to a mix of the comparatively excessive variety of present infections, continued vaccination uptake, and the “reducing seasonality” side of the forthcoming Northern Hemisphere spring.
The WHO’s Europe area, which covers 53 international locations and territories, has seen a spike in Omicron circumstances, like a lot of the world. Within the week ending January 18, the proportion of latest infections from Omicron greater than doubled, from 6.3% to fifteen%, based on well being officers.
The WHO mentioned earlier this month that greater than half the inhabitants of Europe might check constructive for the latest variant in a matter of months, describing the contagion as a “new west to east tidal wave.”
WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has made it clear that the pandemic is “nowhere close to over,” nevertheless. Talking final week, he mentioned Omicron had led to 18 million new infections throughout the globe over the course of simply seven days, with quite a few European international locations seeing vital rises in case numbers in consequence.
“Make no mistake, Omicron is inflicting hospitalizations and deaths, and even the much less extreme circumstances are inundating well being services,” he mentioned.