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At current transmission speeds, more than half of Europe’s population could be infected with Omicron in a week, a World Health Organization official said.
The rapidly spreading type “represents a tsunami in the west-to-east region,” Hans Klug, WHO’s regional director for Europe, said in a briefing on Tuesday.
He quoted the Institute for Matrix and Health Assessment forecast as saying that most Europeans could take it in the next six to eight weeks.
The recent Kovid surge has resulted in fewer symptomatic cases and lower mortality rates than previous waves, encouraging optimism that the epidemic could subside.
However, the WHO has repeatedly warned against underestimating omicron strains. Klug said hospital admissions rates are rising. In Europe, it puts pressure on the health system.
On the other hand, another WHO official said it was too early to consider COVID-19 entering the domestic stage, an issue the Spanish government has proposed to discuss. The local phase will see a “steady spread of the virus to projected levels”, but nowhere near what we are currently seeing for 2022, “said Catherine Smallwood, WHO Europe’s chief emergency officer.” We still have great uncertainty.
We still have viruses that evolve very quickly and bring new challenges, “he said. We are definitely not at the point where we can call it local.