Covid-19: “When the Ómicron wave diminishes, there will be general immunity.”
The director of WHO Europe, Hans Kluge, said yesterday that the Ómicron variant, which is likely to infect 60% of Europeans by March, started a new phase of the covid-19 pandemic in Europe that could bring it to an end.
“It is plausible that Europe is reaching the end of the pandemic”, said the main official of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe, still urging caution, due to the unpredictability of the virus.
“When the Ómicron wave diminishes, there will be, for a few weeks or months, general immunity. Either because of the vaccine or because people will be immune due to infections, in addition to a break due to seasonality”, added Kluge.
“We can predict what will happen, but this virus has surprised us more than once. We must therefore be very careful”, insisted the WHO official in Europe.
In the WHO Europe region, which includes 53 countries, some of them located in Central Asia, Ómicron was responsible for 15% of new Covid-19 cases on January 18th, more than half of the previous week, according to data from the Ministry of Health, WHO. In the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), this variant emerged at the end of November, proving to be more contagious than Delta, and is now dominant in several countries, including in Portugal.
Kluge believes that, given the recent increase in cases of contamination, health policies should now focus on “minimizing disruption and protecting vulnerable people”, rather than seeking to reduce the intensity of virus transmission.
Covid-19 is reported to have caused at least 5.58 million deaths worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the latest report by the Agence France-Presse. The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/