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Omicron variant poses ‘very high’ global risk – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned countries to brace for the new Omicron Covid variant, urging them to boost vaccination for vulnerable groups.
The WHO released a technical brief on Omicron, which was classified as a variant of concern (VOC) on Friday. “The overall global risk related to the new VOC Omicron is assessed as very high,” the brief said.

The agency described Omicron as a variant with a high number of mutations, some of which “may be associated with immune escape potential and higher transmissibility.” At the same time, WHO noted that there are “still considerable uncertainties” regarding the new strain of the virus.

The WHO urged countries to ramp up the monitoring of all coronavirus variants, including Omicron, and boost vaccination “as rapidly as possible,” especially in terms of covering high-priority and vulnerable groups. Measures like masking and physical distancing remain crucial in the fight against the pandemic, the agency said.

Also known as the B.1.1.529 variant, Omicron was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on Wednesday. It was later discovered in countries such as Australia, the UK, Belgium, and Canada.

The emergence of the new strain prompted Israel and Japan to close their borders to foreign nationals.
https://ift.tt/3BMbSMj 29, 2021 at 01:50PM
from RT – Daily news

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