Countries Should 'Prepare for Likely Spread of Omicron', WHO Says

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries not to panic but to prepare for the likely spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

Heralding South Africa's and Botswana's decision to report the appearance of the coronavirus mutation, the United Nations health agency repeated that it will take another two weeks before more is known about how transmissible and how dangerous it actually is.

After announcing the deployment of surge team deployment, Dr Salam Gueye, WHO Regional Emergency Director for Africa, noted that just 102 million Africans in Africa - 7.5 per cent of the continental population - are now fully vaccinated and that more than 80 per cent of the population has not received even a single dose. "This is a dangerously wide gap," he said.

Working with African governments to accelerate studies and bolster the response to the new variant, the World Health Organization is urging countries to sequence between 75 and 150 samples weekly.


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