Covid Omicron variant, WHO says “The Risk is Very High”
Confirmed cases, reports the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), were registered in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.
Where information on severity is available, patients are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms – all had traveled to African countries. Hope at the top: “It is urgent to vaccinate the population of the most fragile countries, donating doses is not enough”
The Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 is ” highly transmissible ” and requires ” urgent action “.
This was stated in a joint statement by the ministers of health of the seven largest economies in the world, at the end of an emergency G7 called by Great Britain to discuss the initiatives to be taken against the new strain of the virus, which worries the whole world after the first cases identified outside of South Africa.
Meanwhile, the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) announces that to date there are only 33 cases of the variant confirmed in the EU area and in the European Economic Area, registered in eight countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal.
Where information on severity is available, patients are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms: so far, no serious cases have been reported and no death is reported. All those who contracted the variant had traveled to African countries, with flights that made stopovers in other destinations between Africa and Europe.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, is working to organize a videoconference summit between the leaders of the 27 member states as soon as possible.
G7 ministers pledged to share information and meet again in December, praising the South African authorities’ ” exemplary work ” in isolating the variant and alerting the rest of the world.
The ministers continues the final document, “recognized the strategic importance of guaranteeing access to vaccines” also by providing “operational assistance, carrying out donation commitments and addressing disinformation on vaccines, as well as supporting research and development. “.
Speaking at the summit, the Italian minister Roberto Speranza emphasized in particular that “the identification of the variant in the southern area of Africa confirms the urgency to do more to vaccinate the population of more fragile countries.
It is not enough to donate doses – he said – we must concretely support those who do not have structured and capillary health services like ours. We need to be sure that the vaccines donated are actually administered and to do so we will need the coordinating role of the UN and the WHO “.
Outside the EU, cases have been reported in seven other states: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
On Sunday, world governments were reassured by the words of the health authorities of South Africa, according to which the symptoms of the new mutation would be “light”. But the World Health Organization had sounded the alarm explaining that the new variant could have “serious consequences”.
In the meantime, other governments, despite the protests in Pretoria, choose to prevent access to their territory from South Africa and other southern African countries. In Italy, the mayors instead ask the government to reintroduce restrictions such as the obligation to wear a mask.
While the Guardian reports that in the United Kingdom (11 confirmed cases so far), scientists are expecting hundreds of more cases attributable to the variant within the next week, some of which refer to a period prior to the South African reporting of the variant, dated November 24.