Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Covid-19 Technical Lead, WHO Health Emergency Program said
“So, Omicron, the latest variant, has been detected throughout the world. This is efficiently transmitted.
And actually everywhere where we have a good order, this variant is detected, so that globally circulated at this time first appeared, first reported, in South Africa and Botswana. And in these countries, Delta circulated at low levels, so Omicron took over quickly in terms of circulating circulation.
In other parts of the world, Delta is circulating intensively. And when Omicron was introduced into the population, what we saw was a shared circulation of Delta and Omicron. Now, in some countries that have circulation a few weeks. Omicron takes over.
This replaces Delta, but in other countries that have not happened. What we see is a very sharp increase in the number of cases. You will watch the latest updating nearly 10 million cases. Reportedly in the last seven days. And that’s the highest number of cases we see at this time.
In the last 24 hours there are almost two and a half million cases, or more than two and a half million cases. “
“So, there are several reasons why we see a sharp increase in the number of cases. First, is the emergence of Omicron and Omicron circulation, which transmits highly efficiently among people.
There are a number of reasons for this. First, is the mutation it has. This virus is able to adhere to human cells easier. It has a mutation that allows it to do that.
Second, is that we have what is called an immune runaway. And this means that people can be scanned again too than if they have previous infections or if they have been vaccinated.
Now you must remember, vaccines are very effective in preventing severe disease and death, but they do not prevent all infections and they do not prevent all subsequent transmissions.
So it’s still very important to vaccinate because it will save your life, but it doesn’t prevent all infections or transmission. Another reason is that we see omicron replication in the upper respiratory tract, and it is different from DE LTA and other variants, including tensions replicated in the lower respiratory tract, in the lungs.
So the combination of these factors allows viruses to spread easier. But what is also important to remember is that this is in the context of people who are grassable, people come into contact with others, people who do not hold on to public health and social steps such as distance themselves, wearing the right mask,
Avoid the crowd, spend more time outdoors than in the room and in the northern hemisphere, where it is getting cold and we are in the winter now, people spend more time in the room and especially in the crowd.
All of these factors allow the virus to spread, whether omicron or something else. “
“In connection with the severity of omicron, we learn more about this every day. What we understand from a number of countries and studies originating from a number of countries is your risk of getting severe disease or requiring hospitalization from omicron less than Delta.
That does not mean that it is a minor illness. However, that means that if you are infected with your chances of needing less hospitalization. What we know is also from a number of countries, is that your risk of severe disease increases with age, and it is the same as Delta. This also increases if you have a underlying condition.
And of course, it increases if you are not vaccinated. So this is so important that when your turn, you will be vaccinated, you receive a full dose because of vaccination saves life. Vaccination prevents people from developing severe diseases even death.
And that applies to deltas and for Omicron. “It is very important that our health care system is not burdened. I mean, we are in the third year the pandemic system and this health really stretches.
Our health workers are very stretched. Many of them are infected now from being in the community, and are in the health care facility itself. And this has an impact on patient care, not only for covid patients, but also for other diseases and other emergencies. “
“When the virus circulates to the third year of this pandemic, we will see more. So it is very unlikely that Omicron will be the last variant you will hear.
This is why it is very important that we focus on getting vulnerable populations around the world vaccinated and that we increase vaccination coverage in all countries, not Only in a few. So please vaccinate when it’s your turn and really fight for vaccine equity and demand it from the leaders where you live, that we need people to have access to the vaccine saving tools.
At the same time, we must continue to push the transmission down. We can not only focus on vaccination, it’s a vaccine and, not just vaccines. So everyone needs to play their role in reducing the opportunity to be infected and spread this virus. And there are a number of things we can do. Align, cover up, increase ventilation, avoid the crowd, keep your hands clean. All layers of intervention make you and your loved ones safely. “
“The public is out there, what you need to worry about is just reducing the exposure to your virus circulating where you live, if it’s omicron or if it’s delta. We want people to understand and feel empowered that they have some control over infection.
We have heard some people suggest that Omicron is only light. That’s not the problem. There is evidence that omicron causes disease that is less severe, but that does not mean that omicron mild and omicron is not an ordinary flu. So, please take steps to keep yourself infected.
One last thing to mention is the risk of developing post-covid-19 or long covid conditions. We know that the proportion of people infected with this virus can develop to develop the long-term impact, which is called a long covid condition or post-covid 19. And it’s enough reason to try to prevent yourself infected with it. But don’t forget about this because we want to make sure we make you safe from infection, develop severe diseases, pass through the virus to others, but also to prevent the developing covid. “
“I know this can greatly frustrate when we enter the third year of this pandemic and everyone is exhausted. I’m too frustrated. But what we need to do is stay strong, stay together and keep alert because if we work together, if we fight for equity Vaccines, if we obey these steps together, we have a much better chance to overcome this virus together and we will make all the pandemics end. This pandemic will end. We really need to stay strong. We need to Together. I will also emphasize it to be really good with each other because it wore our patience and how exhausted we all. But please remain vigilant. “ she said.