The World Well being Group lamented Tuesday that half one million Covid-19 deaths had been recorded because the Omicron variant was found, calling the toll “past tragic”.
The WHO’s incident supervisor Abdi Mahamud mentioned that 130 million circumstances and 500,000 deaths had been recorded globally since Omicron was declared a variant of concern in late November, experiences AFP.
It has since quickly overtaken Delta because the world’s dominant Covid variant as a result of it’s extra transmissible, although it seems to trigger much less extreme sickness.
“Within the age of efficient vaccines, half one million individuals dying, it is actually one thing,” Mahamud advised a dwell interplay on the WHO’s social media channels.
“Whereas everybody was saying Omicron is milder, (they) missed the purpose that half one million individuals have died since this was detected,” he mentioned.
“It is past tragic.”
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, mentioned the sheer variety of recognized Omicron circumstances was “astounding”, whereas the true quantity could be a lot increased.
“It makes the earlier peaks look virtually flat,” she mentioned.
“We’re nonetheless in the course of this pandemic,” she mentioned. “Many international locations haven’t handed their peak of Omicron but.”
Van Kerkhove mentioned she was extraordinarily involved that the numbers of deaths had elevated for a number of weeks in a row.
“This virus continues to be harmful,” she mentioned.
– Progress of Omicron –
Of their weekly Covid-19 epidemiological replace issued later Tuesday, the WHO mentioned practically 68,000 new deaths had been reported final week — up seven % in comparison with the earlier week.
In the meantime the variety of new weekly Covid circumstances decreased by 17 % to almost 19.3 million.
The WHO’s Europe area accounted for 58 % of latest confirmed circumstances final week, and 35 % of latest deaths. The Americas made up 23 % of latest circumstances and 44 % of latest deaths.
The pandemic is presently “characterised by the continued fast international unfold of the Omicron variant,” the report mentioned, with the variant now detected “in virtually all international locations”.
The WHO mentioned Omicron accounted for 96.7 % of samples collected within the final 30 days which were sequenced and uploaded to the GISAID international science initiative. Delta now makes up simply 3.3 %.
The report mentioned restricted information was out there for the efficacy of vaccines towards Omicron.
“Nonetheless, out there estimates present diminished safety of the first sequence Covid-19 vaccines towards the Omicron variant for all outcomes (extreme illness, symptomatic illness, and an infection) than has been noticed beforehand for different variants of concern,” it mentioned.
Nevertheless it added that booster jabs “considerably” enhance efficacy.
Covid-19 has killed greater than 5.7 million individuals because it emerged in China in December 2019, based on the report, whereas over 392 million circumstances have been recorded.
Practically 10.25 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally.