Some countries want to loosen up despite Omikron, but the World Health Organization is sounding the alarm: Even with milder disease courses, the Omikron variant is not comparable to the flu.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that more than 50 percent of the population in Europe could become infected with the omicron virus variant in the next six to eight weeks. In the first week of the new year, there were more than seven million newly reported Covid-19 cases in Europe, which more than doubled within two weeks, said the European Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Hans Kluge.
In view of the easing debates in many countries, the WHO warned that although the omicron variant leads to milder disease progression on average, it cannot be compared with the flu. A January 8 report by the institute reads verbatim: “Our models for the European Region suggest that mid-January will peak with more than 12 million infections per day – with national highs varying significantly, with later highs in Central Asia. ” And further: “We expect that in the next 6-8 weeks more than 50 percent of the EURO population will be infected with Omikron.”
Hans Kluge, European Director of the World Health Organization: He urgently warns against underestimating Omikron. (Source: SEPA.Media/imago images)
Kluge used his first online press conference of the year for three messages: On the one hand, he called on countries without a previous increase in Omikron to use the remaining time window and to take precautions – Omikron is spreading faster than any other previously seen variant of the Sars coronavirus -CoV-2. Where the omicron spread began, the priority must be to avoid impacting the susceptible and to minimize disruption to health systems. Third, Kluge wanted to keep schools open. This is extremely important for the children, which is why schools should be the last place to close – and the first to reopen.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 45,690 new corona infections in Germany on Tuesday. That’s 15,129 cases, or around 50 percent more than a week ago when 30,561 positive tests were reported. The nationwide seven-day incidence rose to 387.9 from 375.7 the previous day. The value indicates how many people per 100,000 inhabitants have been infected with the corona virus in the past seven days.
On Monday, a number of countries reported staff shortages in clinics because the Coronavirus variant Omikron had led to a steep increase in new infections. Medical personnel are also affected. In addition, the high number of infections ensures that more patients come to the hospital. In Germany, however, the number of seriously ill corona intensive care patients fell further to 3,123 on Tuesday.