'Omicron Will Not Be Last COVID Variant, Possibility of New Strains High': WHO

Calling the variants of COVID-19 'wildcards', a top WHO official said, "We are tracking this virus in real time."

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'Omicron Will Not Be Last COVID Variant, Possibility of New Strains High': WHO

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The World Health Organization on Tuesday, 8 February, warned that the highly transmissible Omicron variant will not be the last COVID-19 variant, and that the possibility of emergence of other strains is very high.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove said:

"Omicron is the latest Variant of Concern. It will not be the last Variant of Concern that WHO will speak about. The next one that will come, hopefully it will take some time to get there but with the level of intensity of spread, the possibility that we will have other variants is really high. So, we need to ensure that we, again, not only increase vaccination coverage but we also take measure to reduce the spread."

Calling the variants of COVID-19 'wildcards', the top WHO official said, "We know a lot about this virus but we don’t know everything and, quite frankly, the variants are the wildcard. We are tracking this virus in real time as it mutates, as it changes and we have an excellent group of people around the world who are working with us to do that, but this virus has a lot of room to move."

'Omicron Not Common Cold, Causes Severe Disease in Some'

Stating that Omicron cannot be compared to common cold, WHO COVID-19 Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove said, "It still causes severe disease in many individuals and with the huge number of cases that we’ve seen, we still too large of a proportion of people needing hospitalisation and dying from this. So, it is not the common cold."

"I think if there is a word beyond tragic, it’s sad, and unfortunately out of that 500,000, 100,000 are in the US reported since Omicron. So, while everyone was saying Omicron is milder, I think we missed the point that half a million people have died since this was detected," she added.

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Topics:  WHO   World Health Organization   COVID-19 

Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
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