OPEN APP
Home / Science / Health /  Is it true that everyone will get Omicron? WHO answers

Is it true that everyone will get Omicron? WHO answers

WHO Technical lead head COVID-19 Maria Van Kerkhove. (REUTERS)Premium
WHO Technical lead head COVID-19 Maria Van Kerkhove. (REUTERS)

  • Replying to a query on why are people ending up in the hospital and dying from it if the Omicron variant is less severe, the WHO Covid-19 technical head said, ‘People who are infected with Omicron have the full spectrum of disease, everything from asymptomatic infection all the way through severe disease and death’

Listen to this article

Omicron is less severe than Delta but it's still a dangerous virus, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead on Covid-19, said on Sunday while addressing a programme.

Replying to a query on why are people ending up in the hospital and dying from it if the Omicron variant is less severe, the WHO Covid-19 technical head said, "People who are infected with Omicron have the full spectrum of disease, everything from asymptomatic infection all the way through severe disease and death."

"What we are learning is that people with underlying conditions, people with advanced age, people who are unvaccinated can have a severe form of Covid-19 following infection from Omicron," Kerkhove said.

When asked if everyone might get Omicron eventually, Kerkhove said, "Omicron is overtaking Delta in terms of circulation, and it is very efficiently transmitted between people."

However, she said, it doesn't mean that everybody will eventually get Omicron. "We certainly are seeing high cases and surges of cases around the world," the top health body's Covid-19 technical lead said.

Stressing on vaccination against Covid-19, she said, "It is protestive against severe disease and death, but it also does prevent some infections and some onward transmission."

Earlier, Anthony Fauci had said the US is approaching the "threshold" of transitioning to living with the coronavirus as a manageable disease.

The top US scientist said eliminating Covid-19 was unrealistic and that "Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody."

"There's no way we're going to eradicate this" virus, he said, given its contagiousness, its propensity to mutate into new variants and the large pool of unvaccinated people.

Covid pandemic 'nowhere near over'

Meanwhile, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic is far from over. "This pandemic is nowhere near over," Tedros told reporters from the WHO's headquarters in Geneva.

The UN health agency chief warned against dismissing as mild the coronavirus variant Omicron, which has spread like wildfire around the globe since it was first detected in southern Africa in November.

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is much more contagious than previous strains but seems to cause less serious disease.

That has triggered a debate on whether the virus is on the verge of passing from the pandemic phase to becoming an endemic disease that humanity can live with -- with the implication that the danger will have passed.

But the WHO has warned that the sheer numbers of people infected will mean many people are still falling seriously ill and dying.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.
Close
Recommended For You
×
Edit Profile
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout