The World Health Organisation has raised fears over the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
It said the risk of contracting the Omicron variant is extremely high. The WHO made this assertion in comparison with the dangerous Delta variant.
The UN-health agency insisted that the global risk of COVID-19 is high due to this variant.
In a technical brief by the WHO, the body claims the variant has a significant growth advantage.
The global health agency described Omicron as a very high variant. It further said it has high number of mutations. This includes 26-32 mutations in increased protein.
It said some of the mutations were presumably linked with humoral immune escape potential. The WHO added that it is extremely contagious.
Omicron has been a variant of concern since the surge in COVID-19 cases since November.
The Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution said:
“The overall risk related to Omicron remains very high for a number of reasons.
First, the global risk of COVID-19 remains very high overall.
Second, current data indicate that Omicron has a significant growth advantage over Delta, leading to rapid spread in the community.
The rapid increase in cases will lead to an increase in hospitalisations, may pose overwhelming demands on health care systems and lead to significant morbidity, particularly in vulnerable populations.
The overall threat posed by Omicron largely depends on four key questions:
- how transmissible the variant is;
- how well vaccines and prior infection protect against infection, transmission, clinical disease and death;
- how virulent the variant is compared to other variants; and
- how populations understand these dynamics, perceive risk and follow control measures, including public health and social measures.”
The WHO explained that the global risk assessment will be updated on latest research. It also revealed that public health advice is released on the current factual evidence.