HeathcareThe WHO alert for the "twin threat" of Ómicron...

The WHO alert for the “twin threat” of Ómicron and Delta and the “tsunami” of infections that it causes


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The combination of the delta and omicron variants is driving a dangerous wave of Covid-19 cases, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday.

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The words of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus come at a time when the United States and several countries in Europe broke records of infections.

France reported the highest daily figure yet for the second day in a row, with 208,000 cases.

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Y The US has reported a record average of 265,427 daily cases in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Figures in Denmark, Portugal, the UK and Australia have also broken records.

Poland reported 794 Covid-related deaths on Wednesday, the highest number in this fourth wave of the pandemic. More than three-quarters of the deceased were unvaccinated.

Scientific studies suggest that the omicron variant, which has quickly become the dominant variant in different countries, is softer than the delta, but much more contagious.

It is believed to be driving the increase in cases. The French Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, believes that instead of talking about a wave, when he refers to omicron he would speak of a “tsunami”.

But nevertheless, Dr. Tedros warned that it was the “twin threat” of the two variants that was behind the increase in cases.

“This puts and will continue to put immense pressure on exhausted health workers and health systems on the brink of collapse,” added the WHO chief.

At the moment, some 900,000 new cases are being reported daily around the world, reported the Reuters news agency.

Several wealthy nations have launched campaigns to apply third doses of covid vaccines.

However, Tedros said the large-scale campaigns these countries have launched to push for the third dose “will likely prolong the pandemic” as they are diverting supplies that poorer and less vaccinated nations need. As a result, they give “the virus more opportunities to spread and mutate.”

The WHO director asked “everyone to make a New Year’s promise to support the campaign to vaccinate 70%” of the world’s population before mid-2022. Almost 100 countries have not yet achieved the original goal of vaccinating 40% of their populations, says the WHO.

According to a WHO report published on Tuesday, the number of new infections by all variants grew by 57% in Europe in the week before December 26 and by 30% in the Americas.

Those numbers appear to keep rising, setting new records on Wednesday:

Authorities have also warned that some of the figures may come due to reporting delays around Christmas.

One effect of the infection records has been the lack of staff in some services, due to people in isolation.

On Wednesday, Spain, a country that saw a record 1,360 cases per 100,000 in the past 14 days, shortened its isolation period from 10 days to 7 to ease staff burdens.

The US has already shortened the period, while the UK has said that those who test negative for two days will be allowed out of isolation after one week.

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