Nov 29 2021 - 08:16
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WHO warns of "very high" global risk of Omicron variant

The World Health Organization warned on Sunday that the overall global risk related to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is "very high" Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار Deaths, Infections, Cases, Variant, Omicron, COVID-19,WHO,The World Health Organization warned on Sunday that the overall global risk related to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is "very high"
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WHO warns of "very high" global risk of Omicron variant
Lebanon News
The World Health Organization warned on Sunday that the overall global risk related to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is "very high".
 
In a document released Sunday, WHO said Omicron is a highly divergent variant with a high number of mutations, including 26 to 32 in the spike.
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It said that given mutations that may confer immune escape potential and possibly transmissibility advantage, the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron at the global level is high.
 
Depending on these characteristics, there could be future surges of COVID-19, which could have severe consequences, depending on a number of factors including where surges may take place, said the WHO document.
 
Since WHO first warned against the Omicron strain, multiple countries around the world have reported confirmed or suspected cases, and the safety hazard has whipped up wide fear.
 
With the Omicron variant now present in all provinces of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has raised the possibility that the country could enter the fourth wave soon if new cases continue to increase.
 
"The identification of Omicron coincides with a sudden increase in COVID-19 infections. If cases continue to rise, we can expect to see a fourth wave of infection in the next few weeks, if not sooner," Ramaphosa said in his televised speech on Sunday night.
 
Britain has confirmed its third case of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced Sunday.
 
The person who had been in South African tested positive after arriving in Britain, according to the UKHSA. The person is no longer in the country but the UKHSA is carrying out targeted testing at locations where the person visited when they were likely to have been infectious.
 
The Dutch health authority said Sunday that it has found 13 cases of the new Omicron Coronavirus variant among passengers on flights from South Africa.
 
The cases were identified among 61 passengers who tested positive for Coronavirus, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said in a statement.
 
French Health Ministry reported Sunday night eight suspected Omicron COVID-19 cases among passengers who tested positive after their African trips over the past 14 days.
 
Two people in the Canadian capital Ottawa have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19, according to the Ontario provincial government on Sunday.
The two people recently traveled to Nigeria.
 
"Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation," said a statement issued by Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore on Sunday.
 
A second case of the Omicron Coronavirus variant was discovered in Israel, the state-owned Kan TV news reported Sunday.
 
The patient is a vaccinated woman who returned from South Africa, and was found positive in a genetic sequencing testing conducted by the Israeli Ministry of Health, the Kan TV said.
 
REUTERS
 
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