WHO: Over Half Of Europeans Will Be Infected With Omicron In Coming Weeks

Over 50% of Europe’s population will be infected with the Omicron coronavirus strain in the next six to eight weeks. This was reported by Hans Kluge, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe office. He, in turn, relied on the forecast data of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

He said 50 out of 53 countries in Europe and Central Asia have now reported cases of the Omicron. Kluge added that this variant of COVID is rapidly becoming dominant in Western Europe and is now spreading to the Balkans.

« The Institute for Health Indicators and Evaluation predicts that over 50% of the population of the (European) region will be infected with the Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks, » Kluge said at a press conference on Tuesday.

He said data collected in recent weeks confirm that the Omicron is highly transmissible because its mutations allow it to more easily attach itself to human cells and it can infect even those who have already been infected or vaccinated.

Kluge emphasised that currently approved vaccines against the coronavirus continue to provide good protection against the severe or fatal form of the disease.

The WHO Head of Europe also said that more than 7 million new cases of COVID-19 infection had been reported in the region in the first week of 2022, showing a two-fold increase in a fortnight. According to Kluge, as of 10 January, 26 countries report that more than 1% of their populations become ill with COVID-19 every week.

source: who.org

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