The head of the European office of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to prepare for a surge in the number of confirmed cases, saying that Omicron, a new variant of COVID-19, known to be highly contagious, is becoming the dominant species in several countries.
At a press conference held in Vienna, Austria yesterday (21st) local time, Hans Kluge, head of the WHO Europe office, reported that omicron mutations were reported in at least 38 of 53 European countries, and already prevailed in several countries, including Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom. It has become a paper, Reuters reported.
“We can see another storm approaching,” Hans Kluj said. “In the coming weeks, the omicron mutation will become dominant in more countries in Europe, further straining the health care system.”
WHO’s European office covers 53 countries, including Russia and parts of Central Asia.
Director Kluj said that 89% of patients infected with the Omicron mutation in Europe initially experienced cough, sore throat and fever associated with common COVID-19 symptoms.
Also, he added, so far, omicron mutations have been reported to spread mainly among young adults in their 20s and 30s who go to work or attend social gatherings, he adds.
At the same time, he urged the general public to refrain from vaccinations and gatherings for COVID-19, and ordered governments around the world to strengthen preparations to respond to the rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases.