Omicron ‘quite infectious’, must not panic: WHO

Vaccines did appear to be having some effect.

161
WHO Soumya Swaminathan

Last Updated on December 6, 2021 by The Health Master

The World Health Organization‘s (WHO) chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, told the Reuters Next conference on Friday that while the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, appeared to be very transmissible, the right response was to be prepared, cautious, and not panic.

The WHO has urged countries to boost healthcare capacity and vaccinate their people to fight a surge in C-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant, saying travel curbs could buy time but alone were not the answer.

“How worried should we be? We need to be prepared and cautious, not panic, because we’re in a different situation than a year ago, ” Swaminathan said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.

While the emergence of the new variant was unwelcome, she said the world was much better prepared given the development of vaccines since the start of the C-19 pandemic.

Much remains unknown about Omicron, which was first detected in southern Africa last month and has been spotted in at least two dozen countries. Parts of Europe were already grappling with a wave of infections of the Delta variant before it emerged.

Swaminathan said of what was known about Omicron: “We need to wait. “Let’s hope it’s milder, but it’s too early to conclude about the variant as a whole,” Swaminathan said of what was known about Omicron.

Delta accounts for 99% of infections around the world. This variant would have to be more transmissible to out-compete and become dominant worldwide. It’s possible, but it’s not possible to predict. “

The WHO’s top scientist said the Omicron variant seemed to be causing three times more infections than experienced previously in South Africa, meaning “it does seem to be able to overcome some of the natural immunity from previous infection.”.

Vaccines did appear to be having some effect.

“The fact that they’re not getting sick …. that means the vaccines are still providing protection and we would hope that they would continue to provide protection,” Swaminathan said.

Asked about the need for annual vaccine boosters, she said “the WHO is preparing for all scenarios,”, which could include an additional dose, particularly among some age groups or vulnerable sections of the population, or a modified vaccine.

“Natural infection acts as a booster,” the WHO scientist said, adding that while the new variant “could have originated in a country where there isn’t a great deal of genome sequencing,”, its origins were not known. “We may never know,” Swaminathan said.

Procedure to obtain license for Commercial Testing Laboratories

Govt asks States to collaborate with proposed Medical Devices Parks

Morepen gets USFDA nod for anti-allergy drug

Roche develops new research Test Kits for Omicron variant

Booster dose of these 6 Vaccines safe, increases immunity: Study

DGFT notifies norms for Sodium Salicylate & Methylcobalamin

NPPA to hire 33 professionals for various levels of its operations

Govt to amend Drug Rules for list of colours permitted to…

NPPA fixes retail price of 47 formulations: November 2021

Latest Notifications regarding Pharmaceuticals

For informative videos by The Health Master, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon
Telegram
WhatsApp
Facebook
LinkedIn
YouTube Icon
Google-news

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner