The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that it is dangerous to suggest the Omicron variant of novel coronavirus is 'just a mild' disease.
Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and WHO's COVID-19 Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove said, "Yes, oversimplified narratives can be dangerous. While we see lower risk of hospitalisation compared to Delta, to suggest that Omicron is "just a mild" disease is dangerous. Cases are astounding even with lower risk, we will see hospitals overwhelmed. Please be careful."
The UN health agency has on many occasions cautioned governments to accelerate measures against the new surge in COVID-19 cases caused by Omicron. The WHO had earlier also warned of a COVID-19 tsunami asking for the gatherings and events to be cancelled.
It also said recently that more evidence is emerging that the Omicron variant is affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing milder symptoms than previous strains and leading to "decoupling" in some places between soaring case numbers and low death rates.
"We are seeing more and more studies pointing out that Omicron is infecting the upper part of the body. Unlike other ones, the lungs who would be causing severe pneumonia," WHO Incident Manager Abdi Mahamud told Geneva-based journalists on January 4.
"It can be a good news, but we really require more studies to prove that," he added.
First detected in November last year, the heavily mutated variant, as per the WHO data, has spread quickly and emerged in as many as 128 countries, posing as a challenge for several nations and people trying to revive their economies and lives after around two years of the COVID-19-related disruptions.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today