World Health Organization (WHO) authorities have detected the presence of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 in 38 countries, although the Delta strain continues to be the most prevalent worldwide.
Maria Van Kerkhove, head of health emergencies at the WHO, stated during a press conference from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland: “So far, omicron has been reported in 38 countries in all six WHO regions, with a significant increase in infections in Africa. But the Delta variant continues to predominate in the world.”
Kerkhove noted that the difference between the clinical symptoms of Omicron and other variants has not yet been clarified.
She warned that only with the sequence of PCR tests is it possible to identify the new Omicron, and as far as the clinical picture is concerned, it is not possible to differentiate whether the patient was infected with influenza, COVID-19 or something else.
The WHO foresees a possible increase in infections, including those contracting the new variant, over the next two weeks. It revealed, moreover, that it does not yet specify the exact number of deaths caused by this new strain.
In November, the WHO warned of the great risk posed worldwide by this new variant identified in South Africa, as the increase in the number of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 represents a higher risk of reinfection.
So far, the protective capacity of existing vaccines against the new mutations of the virus, which continues to spread worldwide, is unclear.