COVID-19

Covid-19: The WHO considers the end of the pandemic in Europe to be “plausible” with Omicron

However, the organization calls for caution due to the versatility of the virus.

The Omicron variant, which could infect 60% of Europeans in March, has started a new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region and could bring it closer to its end, the director of WHO Europe estimated this Sunday.

“It is plausible that the region is approaching the end of the pandemic,” Hans Kluge told AFP, but urged caution due to the versatility of the virus. “Once the Omicron wave subsides, there will be general immunity for a few weeks and months, either because of the vaccine or because people will be immune because of the infection and also a drop due to seasonality,” he estimated.

However, we are not in “an endemic era,” the UN official stressed. “Endemic means (…) that we can predict what is going to happen, this virus has surprised us more than once. So we have to be very careful,” insisted Mr. Kluge.

In the region, which has 53 countries, some of which are located in Central Asia, Omicron accounted for 15% of new Covid cases as of January 18, more than half the previous week, according to WHO data. . In the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), this variant that appeared at the end of November, more contagious than the Delta, is now dominant according to the European health agency.

With pollution exploding, it is now about “minimizing disruptions and protecting vulnerable people” and no longer just focusing on reducing transmission.

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