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Omicron Appears To Be Less Severe Than Delta But Shouldn’t Be Called Mild: WHO

Mumbai: During a briefing in Geneva, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while the Omicron variant of COVID-19 does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, it does not mean it should be categorised as mild.

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that infections from the Omicron version of the coronavirus are increasing worldwide, so initially cases do not appear to be as severe as the delta version. Still, the global health body warned against classifying Omicron as “mild”.

“Just like previous variants; Omicron is hospitalising people and it is killing people,” said a WHO tweet quoting its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “In fact, the tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world.”

The WHO reported in Thursday’s press conference that a record 9.5 million cases of COVID-19 were confirmed worldwide last week, a 71% increase in the number of weekly injections.

WHO’s head of emergencies Dr Michael Ryan said speculation was “wishful thinking” that Omicron could be the final form of the pandemic. He added that “this virus still has a lot of energy.”

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