The head of the World Health Organization’s Europe division today warned countries to prepare for a “significant increase” in coronavirus cases as the Omicron spreads, noting that so far the variation is mainly among young adults.
Since its emergence in late November, Omicron has been located in at least 38 of the 53 countries belonging to the European section of the WHO. “It has already prevailed in many of them, such as Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom,” Hans Kluge told a news conference in Vienna.
“We are seeing another storm coming. “In a few weeks, Omicron will prevail in more countries in the region, pushing the already pressed health systems to the brink,” he stressed.
The European part includes, inter alia, Russia, other former Soviet republics and Turkey.
Most cases in young people
WHO data show that this area in recent weeks has recorded the highest number of cases of Covid-19, compared to its population, than any other. Even before Omicron appeared, experts warned that by March we might be mourning another 700,000 dead.
So far, 89% of Omicron cases in Europe have symptoms such as cough, sore throat and fever. Most cases are found in cities, among young adults (20-40 years old) who have been affected by social gatherings and their workplace.
“The huge volume of new infections could lead to more hospitalizations and widespread disruption to health systems and other critical services,” Kluge said, urging people to get vaccinated and limit their social contact. “Governments and authorities need to prepare response systems for a significant increase,” he concluded.