Will everyone get affected by Omicron? This is what WHO says

Amidst the rapid increase in cases of Omicron variant of Covid across the world, the health experts were left wondering if everyone around the globe is going to be affected by this virus at some point.

Although the experts do say that Omicron could possibly lead to herd immunity and turn Covid-19 into a harmless endemic illness, but when it comes to the new variant it is being said that Omicron is highly contagious. However, going on the brighter side of the new variant, the effects are less severe as compared to Delta and previous other variants.

While addressing a programme on Sunday, the technical lead of World Health Organization (WHO) Maria Van Kerkhove has said that “Omicron is less severe than Delta but it’s still a dangerous virus.”

She further said that people who are infected from the Omicron variant have the full range of disease including asymptomatic infection to all the way through severe symptoms and death.

“What we are learning is that people with underlying conditions, people with advanced age, people who are unvaccinated can have a severe form of COVID-19 following infection from Omicron,” she said. Hence, the people are still being hospitalized with this variant of concern, Omicron, as well as dying.

On being asked about the reason to take protective measures if eventually everyone is likely to be affected, Maria said that the Omicron variant is overtaking Delta in terms of circulation, and it is very efficiently transmitted between people. But it does not mean that everybody will eventually get Omicron.

Besides, the rising cases of Omicron around the world has put a significant burden on the health care systems. Due to this WHO has been working hard with partners around the world to have a comprehensive strategy to reduce the exposure of people and reduce the opportunities to get infected.

She has also put more focus on the Covid vaccination and the Covid appropriate behavior such as physical distancing, wearing of a well-fitted mask over nose and mouth, clean hands, avoiding crowds, working from home, getting tested. She said that it incredibly protective against severe disease and death, but it also does prevent some infections and some onward transmission.

Meanwhile, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic is far from over.

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