Risk From Omicron Variant ‘Very High’: WHO, Global Covid-19 Cases Shot Up By 11% Last Week

New Delhi: Cases of Covid-19 across the globe have increased by 11 percent in the last week, and the Omicron variant was the reason for this spike in many countries. These countries include the ones where the delta variant was earlier dominant, according to the Covid-19 weekly epidemiological update by the World Health Organisation.

“The overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high,” said the WHO.

The report further stated that the Omicron variant has more transmissibility than Delta variant with a doubling time of “two to three days.” It said that a rapid increase in cases was being observed in countries like Britain and the US and the Omicron variant has become a dominant variant.

“The rapid growth rate is likely to be a combination of both immune evasion and intrinsic increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant,” the report stated.

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The WHO, however, highlighted that incidence of cases in South Africa — where the variant was reported for the first time — have decreased by 29 percent. It further said that data from countries like Britain, South Africa and Denmark where infection rate was highest suggested that there was a reduced risk of hospitalisation for Omicron as compared to Delta variant.

The WHO said that more data was required on how the severity might be impacted by previous Covid infection, or vaccination.

The weekly Covid-19 epidemiological update stated that the globally new number of cases rose by 11 percent in the week ending Sunday, as compared to previous week. The deaths, however, have dipped by four percent.

The United States, Britain, France and Italy reported the highest number of new cases.

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