“High to very high” that the Omicron variant is spreading in Europe, according to the European Health Agency
The Omicron variant is worried. The risk is “high to very high” that the new variant of Covid-19, originally detected in South Africa, spreading in Europe, the European Union health agency said on Friday evening.
In a risk assessment report, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) justifies its fears by explaining that there is still “considerable uncertainty regarding contagiousness, the effectiveness of vaccines, the risk of re-infection. and the other characteristics of the Omicron variant ”.
Omicron vaccine deficiencies
In view of the possibility that current vaccines do not protect against this variant, and the fact that it could be more contagious, “we consider high the probability of new arrivals and contaminations (by Omicron) in the EU and the EEA ”(European Economic Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), warns the agency based in Stockholm. Thus, “in a situation where the Delta variant makes its return to the EU and EEA, the impact of the introduction and possible spread of Omicron could be very high”.
Apart from South Africa, Omicron has been detected in Malawi, Israel on a person from Malawi, Botswana, Hong Kong and Belgium. ECDC urged countries to conduct genome analyzes to trace confirmed cases, and travelers not to travel to affected areas.
Stock markets collapse
The new variant B.1.1.529 was classified Friday of “concern” by the WHO. The Omicron is thus in the most disturbing category of Covid-19 variants, alongside the Delta, which currently dominates the planet, and its weaker rivals, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.
More countries are suspending travel to and from southern Africa to curb Omicron. The concern that it is causing plummets the world’s stock markets and oil prices, dealing a further blow to the global economy in full recovery.