Omicron variant poses very high risk globally, says WHO
Sylvie Claire / November 29, 2021
The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus presents a very high risk at the global level, warned the WHO on Monday, while underlining the many uncertainties that still surround the danger and the transmissibility of the variant.
To date, no deaths associated with the Omicron variant have been reported, the organization said in a technical document released Monday, which also gives advice to authorities to try to contain the spread of the new variant.
Given the mutations that could confer an escape potential to the immune response as well as possibly give an advantage in terms of transmissibility, the likelihood of Omicron spreading globally is high, the organization said as the list of countries where it is detected continues to grow, after the first cases were detected in southern Africa in November.
Depending on these characteristics, there could be future peaks of Covid-19, which could have severe consequences depending on different factors and in particular where these peaks would occur, added the WHO, which had already classified the variant as worrying on Friday.
However, the organization stresses that many unknowns remain about this variant: its contagiousness, whether it is inherent to the mutations observed or whether it is due to the fact that this variant is better at evading the immune response; the level of protection conferred by existing anti-Covid vaccines in terms of contagiousness and severity of the disease; whether the variant causes more severe symptoms.