Connect with us

COVID-19

WHO urges Asia-Pacific to ready for Omicron-driven surge in infections

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: December 3, 2021)

Asia-Pacific countries should boost their healthcare capacity and fully vaccinate their people to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 cases fuelled by the Omicron variant, Reuters quoting officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

First detected in southern Africa last month and dubbed a “variant of concern” by the WHO, scientists are still gathering data to establish how contagious Omicron is, and the severity of the illness it causes.

It has been reported in at least two dozen countries, and started gaining a foothold in Asia this week, with cases reported from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and India. Many governments have responded by tightening travel rules, read the report.

“Border controls can buy time but every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases,” Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the western Pacific, told a virtual media briefing.

“People should not only rely on border measures. What is most important is to prepare for these variants with potential high transmissibility. So far the information available suggests we don’t have to change our approach,” Kasai said.

Kasai said countries must utilise lessons learned from dealing with the Delta variant and urged them to fully vaccinate vulnerable groups and implement preventive measures such as mask wearing and social distancing rules.

According to Reuters despite restrictions on international visitors, Australia became the latest country on Friday to report community transmission of Omicron, a day after it was found locally in five U.S. states.

COVID-19

Beijing orders travellers to take COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival in city – state media

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 16, 2022)

Chinese travellers into Beijing from Jan. 22 to end-March are required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their arrival in the city, Beijing Daily, a government newspaper reported on Sunday.=

China has reported local cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant in at least five provinces and municipalities, including a first infection in Beijing itself on Saturday, just weeks ahead of the Olympic Winter Games in February, Reuters reported.

Continue Reading

COVID-19

Omicron less severe than Delta but still poses danger for unvaccinated: WHO

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 13, 2022)

The highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant causes less severe disease than the Delta strain but it remains a “dangerous virus”, particularly for those who are unvaccinated, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a news briefing, director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said more than 90 countries were yet to meet the target of vaccinating 40% of their populations and more than 85% of people in Africa were yet to receive a single dose, Reuters reported.

“We mustn’t allow this virus a free ride or wave the white flag, especially when so many people around the globe remain unvaccinated,” he said.

In its weekly epidemiological report on Tuesday, the WHO said cases increased by 55%, or 15 million, in the week to Jan. 9 from a week earlier – by far the most cases reported in a single week, read the report.

“This huge spike in infections is being driven by the Omicron variant, which is rapidly replacing Delta in almost all countries,” Tedros said.

He said the majority of people hospitalized around the world with COVID-19 were unvaccinated and that if transmission was not curtailed there was greater risk of another variant emerging that could be even more transmissible, and more deadly, than Omicron.

Continue Reading

COVID-19

Omicron expected to infect more than half people in Europe in 2 months: WHO official

Published

on

(Last Updated On: January 12, 2022)

More than half of people in the entire European region will be infected with the Omicron strain within two months if the current rate of transmission continues, said a World Health Organization (WHO) official on Tuesday.

Since the beginning of the new year, the pandemic situation in many European countries has been severe. In countries including France and Denmark, the number of newly confirmed COVID19 cases in a single day has reached a new high since the onset of the pandemic. As the number of hospitalized cases and deaths continue to rise, some countries are tightening their pandemic control policies.

WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said at a press conference on Tuesday that in the first week of 2022, more than seven million cases were reported in Europe, which doubled the data two weeks ago. Kluge said that it is estimated that at the current rate of transmission, more than 50 percent of people in the entire European region will be infected with the Omicron strain in the next six to eight weeks.

Kluge said that the Omicron strain is super contagious compared with the previous variants, and its scope of spreading is unprecedented. He also emphasized the importance of vaccines in preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

WHO officials said on Tuesday that in view of the uncertainty of the Omicron strain at this stage and the rapid development of the pandemic, the WHO opposes responding to the COVID19 pandemic in the same way as dealing with influenza.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe covers 53 countries, including European and some neighboring countries. Omicron strains have been found in at least 50 of these countries.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Ariana News. All rights reserved!