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WHO Warning: Omicron ‘very high’ global risk: Current Affairs Special Series

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned all countries of the world as it is the heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant that is likely to spread internationally and sets a very high risk of infection surges that might have “severe consequences” in some places.

What is Omicron?

It is the variant of coronavirus which is referred to as B.1.1.529. World Health Organisation has allotted this variant a Greek letter ‘Omicron’.

Omicron was found out on 24th November first time in South Africa.

No deaths have been reported due to Omicron but their further research was needed to evaluate its potential to resist vaccines and immunity made by previous infections.

The U.N. agency has pressed its 194 member states to accelerate vaccination of high-priority groups on the expectations of increased case numbers as the variant might be spread since the first reported last week.

As per the research of WHO, Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations and some of them have concern for their potential strike on the trajectory of the pandemic and the overall global risk is assessed as very high. 

Since its spread to more than a dozen countries, many countries have imposed travel restrictions to try to be safe from it. Japan and Israel are going to it close their borders completely to foreigners. 

WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has alerted Omicron’s regression showed how “perilous and precarious” the situation could be. He gave his words with the start of an assembly of health ministers expected to launch negotiations on such an agreement that Omicron shows just why the world needs a new agreement on pandemics. 

Scientist Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a foundation that funds vaccine development, said Omicron’s outgrowth had fulfilled predictions that transmission of the virus in regions which have low vaccination rates would speed its evolution.

The impact on vulnerable populations might be affected significantly especially in countries with low vaccination coverage.

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