The Omicron variant, which could infect 60% of Europeans by March, has initiated a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and could bring it closer to its end, the director of the World Health Organization said on Sunday. Health (WHO) for Europe.
It is plausible that the region is approaching an end to the pandemic, said Hans Kluge, calling however for caution because of the versatility of the virus.
Once the Omicron wave subsides there will be overall immunity for a few weeks and months, either because of the vaccine or because people will be immune due to infection and also a drop due to seasonality, he estimated.
However, we are not in
an endemic era, underlined the UN official.
Endemic means […] we can predict what will happen. This virus has surprised more than once. So we have to be very careful, Mr. Kluge insisted.
In the European region, which has 53 countries, some of which are located in Central Asia, Omicron accounted for 15% of new COVID-19 cases on January 18, more than half from the previous week, according to WHO data. .
In the European Union and the European Economic Area, this variant appeared at the end of November, more contagious than the Delta, is now dominant, according to the European health agency.
With the explosion of contaminations, it is now a question of
minimize disruption and protect vulnerable people, rather than just focusing on reducing transmission.