By Matthew Roscoe • 07 July 2022 • 15:53
WHO says to 'mask up' as Omicron 5 will run rampant across Europe. Image: Pedro Talens/Shutterstock.com
The WHO said Covid’s Omicron 5 (BA.5) sub-variant continues to dominate the world and was recorded in 83 countries in the week of June 19 to 25 compared to the previous week – meaning that it rose from 37 per cent to around 52 per cent.
Along with Omicron 5, Omicron 4 (BA.4) was detected in 73 countries and rose from 11 per cent to around 12 per cent.
The decline of the former dominant sub-variant Omicron 2 (BA.2) continued, down from 16 per cent to 9 per cent. BA.2.12.1 also decreased, from 19 per cent to 11 per cent.
The WHO confirms that ‘there is no evidence yet of a change in disease severity caused by Omicron 4, 5 and BA.2.12.1, compared to Omicron 2’.
However, the agency pointed out that ‘the increase in their prevalence has coincided with an increase in cases in several regions. And in some countries, the increase in infections has also caused an increase in hospitalisations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths’.
The UN health agency also pointed out that ‘in countries where Omicron 4, 5 and BA.2.12.1 are now declining, the increase in cases, hospitalisations, intensive care admissions and deaths has been lower than in previous waves of Omicron 1 and 2. These differences are probably influenced by a number of factors’, including ‘vaccination coverage’.
Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday, July 7: “Wear a mask.”
“Especially if you are in a place where infections are increasing, take proven public health measures to mitigate the risk.
“For example, if you are in a crowded or indoor place with poor ventilation, wear a mask. And if you are sick and can, stay at home.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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