world
Wednesday Dec 08 2021
By
Reuters

Omicron cases reported in 57 countries, hospitalisations set to rise: WHO

By
Reuters
A street vendor wears a mask as he sells goods during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 8, 2021. Photo: Reuters
A street vendor wears a mask as he sells goods during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 8, 2021. Photo: Reuters

  • WHO says more data needed to assess severity of disease caused by Omicron variant.
  • Says it is also to be assessed whether variant's mutations may reduce protection from vaccine-derived immunity.
  • Says it is expected there will be a time lag between increase in incidence of cases and increase in incidence of deaths.


GENEVA: The number of hospitalisations is likely to rise as the Omicron variant has been reported in 57 nations, with COVID-19 cases rising in southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

The WHO, in its weekly epidemiological report, said more data was needed to assess the severity of disease caused by the Omicron variant and whether its mutations may reduce protection from vaccine-derived immunity.

"Even if the severity is equal or potentially even lower than for Delta variant, it is expected that hospitalizations will increase if more people become infected and that there will be a time lag between an increase in the incidence of cases and an increase in the incidence of deaths," it said.