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WHO expects to have more information on Omicron transmission ‘within days’ -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Technical Lead for COVID-19, attends a Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents news conference (ACANU), amid the COVID-19 epidemic, which was caused by the new coronavirus at the WHO Headquarters in Gene

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters). – Maria van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead on COVID-19 said that she expects to receive more information within days about transmissibility of Omicron, the latest variant of coronavirus.

This was quicker than what the WHO predicted would be the time it took to evaluate the available data on the variant following its designation as a “variant or concern”, the highest rating.

These are the most pressing questions still to be answered.

The vaccine companies have stated that it would take approximately two weeks to determine if their shot is effective.

Van Kerkhove stated that there is a possibility the new Delta variant may prove to be more transmittable than its dominant Delta counterpart. Omicron may make people sicker, but it is not known.

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, stated that the agency is confident the COVID-19 vaccines against this variant will be effective.

Mike Ryan is WHO’s emergency Director. Ryan reiterated WHO’s objection to blanket bans for flights from and to southern Africa imposed in Britain and other nations. Ryan also stated that it would not stop the spreading of this variant.

It is impossible to put a hermetic seal around certain countries. The logic is not clear from a public or epidemiological perspective.

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