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WHO warns of Omicron overload

Although early studies have suggested that it causes mild illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that variants of the omicron coronavirus can lead to an overwhelming medical system.
The proliferation of coronavirus (Covid-19) has caused havoc around the world, forcing many countries to make strict choices between economically punishing restrictions and controlling the spread of the virus.
While the United States sought to mitigate confusion by halving the quarantine period for asymptomatic cases (see page 6), France ordered businesses to work from home at least three days a week.
Germany has set contact restrictions for the second year in a row as Europe’s largest economy closes nightclubs and forces sports competitions in closed rooms.
The surge in many countries is being driven by a highly contagious variant of Omicron, which the Netherlands and Switzerland said yesterday that it is now the dominant strain in their country.
Switzerland is one of the most prevalent countries on the European continent, with people in their twenties most affected, officials said at a press conference in the capital Bern.
Approximately 55% of Swiss cases are now due to Omicron, and this variant is expected to represent almost any infectious disease recorded shortly.
WHO warned against complacency, even though preliminary findings suggest that Omicron may lead to milder illnesses.
“The rapid growth of Omicron, even when combined with slightly milder illnesses, still leads to numerous hospitalizations, especially among unvaccinated groups, and widespread disruption to the medical system and other important services. It will cause, “WHO Europe’s Covid Incident warned, Catherine Smallwood Manager.
To curb the tide, European countries have regained curbs with distressing economic and social consequences.
In the face of record high infections, France has stopped issuing a stay-at-home order, but has called on employers to work their staff at home three days a week, if possible.
France reported record highs of 179,807 new confirmed coronavirus cases in 24 hours yesterday. This is a much higher number per day since the start of the pandemic.
The previous record of 104,611 was set on Saturday after the high of 86,852 on November 11, 2020 was broken for two consecutive days with more than 90,000 new cases per day at the end of last week.
Portugal reported a record high daily coronavirus case yesterday, despite having one of the highest immunization rates in the world.
Health officials have registered 17,172 new infections in the last 24 hours, surpassing the previous record of 16,432 established on January 28, when the first identified Alpha variant in the United Kingdom struck a country in Southern Europe.
Almost 90% of Portugal’s population is vaccinated and nearly 2.4 million have received a third “booster” jab.
United Arab Emirates is the only country with a high percentage of vaccinated people.
Finland said yesterday that it would ban unvaccinated foreign travelers from entering the country.
Only residents, mandatory workers, or diplomats are exempt.
Border guard spokesmen have confirmed to AFP that unvaccinated aliens will be denied unless they are on the list of exceptions, including Finnish residents, key workers and diplomats.
This measure also affects EU citizens.
“Everyone, regardless of foreign origin, must show a vaccination certificate and a negative test within 48 hours,” said Border Guard Tomi Kibenjuri.
The day before, Denmark, which currently has the highest per capita infection rate in the world, took the same steps.
In Germany, personal gatherings are currently limited to 10 vaccinated or 2 unvaccinated households, and nightclubs are closed.
All sporting events are held in closed rooms.
“We have to do something to reduce the number of infections,” Berliners told AFPTV.
However, not all have accepted the measures.
Thousands of protesters marched all over Germany towards the curb late Monday, throwing fireworks and bottles at police and injuring at least 12 police officers.
Beyond social conflict, pandemics have been punished economically, especially in areas such as travel.
Since Friday, about 11,500 flights have been scrapped worldwide, making it one of the busiest travel periods of the year, with tens of thousands more delayed.
Several airlines have blamed the staff shortage caused by the surge in Omicron cases.
According to the data, daily new cases of coronavirus in Turkey exceeded 30,000 for the first time since October 19th yesterday.
Turkey recorded 32,176 cases and 184 deaths yesterday, Ministry of Health data showed.
“We can see that the Omicron variant is now on the rise due to the rapid spread,” Health Minister Farretin Coca urged the Turks to be vaccinated and receive booster shots on Twitter.
Over the weekend, Coca said more than 10% of Covid-19 cases in Turkey were caused by Omicron.
The first six Omicron cases were announced on December 11th.
In Belgium, a court has suspended the closure of entertainment venues, including theaters. This is a measure announced last week by Prime Minister Alexander de Crew to stop the spread of Omicron variants.
Authorities have not demonstrated “how to spread the coronavirus to the extent necessary to order closure, in that recreational facilities are a particularly dangerous place for (people’s) health.” , The State Council, Belgium’s Supreme Administrative Court, said. ..
Greece yesterday reported a new daily record of 21,657 Covid-19 infections. This is more than double the level of the previous day.
“Because of the epidemic of Omicron, we must prepare and this should not cause a panic,” Greek Health Minister Thanos Prebris told state television ERT.
The state reported 9,284 cases on Monday, and the government announced from January 3-16 that it would implement stricter regulations to contain the infection, primarily for nightlife entertainment venues.
Authorities also tightened the curbs last week, mandated masks in the squares, and banned Christmas and New Year celebrations in public places.

Last updated: December 28, 2021 23:32



http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707073/WHO-warns-of-Omicron-overload WHO warns of Omicron overload

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