The World Health Organization says Omicron is putting pressure on healthcare facilities around the world. It is wrong to call it “soft” as it kills people.
Recent research as reported Air forceshow that the Omicron strain is less likely to cause severe disease than previous variants of the coronavirus. However, health systems are suffering from record numbers of people infected with covid, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of WHO.
In the United States, for example, on Monday, more than a million cases of Covid were registered per day. The UN health agency reports – the number of infections in the world has increased by 71% in just the last week, and in the United States by 100%. Moreover, among severe cases, 90% were not vaccinated. Mr Tedros said at a press conference on Thursday:
“While Omicron does seem to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in vaccinated individuals, this does not mean that it should be categorized as light. As in previous versions, Omicron hospitalizes people and kills them. In fact, the tsunami is so large and fast that it affects health systems around the world. ”
Omicron is highly contagious and can infect even fully vaccinated people. But vaccines are still critical because they help protect against serious illness that leads to hospitalization.
On Thursday, the UK recorded 179,756 new cases and 231 Covid-related deaths. Hospitals are reporting “critical” incidents due to increasing pressure and lack of staff. In other European countries, the situation is no better. Olivier Veran, France’s health minister, warns that January will be challenging for hospitals.
He clarified that Omicron patients occupy “regular” beds in hospitals, and Delta created a burden on intensive care units. In France on Thursday, 261,000 cases were registered, and in recent weeks the number of infections set one record after another.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic complains about the enormous pressure on the country’s health care system. Serbia reported more than 9,000 cases on Thursday, media reported.
In his recent comments, the head of WHO reiterated his call for more equitable distribution of vaccines to help poor countries vaccinate their populations. In the current situation, if it does not change, 109 countries will not be able to fulfill the goal set by the organization – to fully vaccinate 70% of the world’s population by July 2022.
Last year, Mr Tedros said there will be enough vaccines in the world in 2022 to inoculate the entire adult population of the planet. Unless, of course, Western countries create a stock of drugs for use in revaccination programs for their populations.