In South Africa, waiting for 10,000 patients a day because of omicron (Infographics)

A passenger is trying to find a flight at the airport in Johannesburg, after a number of countries stopped flights from South Africa because of Omicron. PHOTO: Reuters

WHO: The new strain poses a very high global risk

The COVID-19 supermutant, omicron, is transmitted faster than the delta variant, and there will be 10,000 new infections per day in South Africa by the end of the week. This was stated by the South African epidemiologist Salim Abdul Karim, quoted by CNN. The doctor added that his statement referred to preliminary data from patients in South Africa.

According to Karim, the symptoms of the new variant in patients are still more difficult to determine, but so far it is known that the most common are severe fatigue, increased heart rate and sore throat. None of the patients treated for omicron became seriously ill,

in order to be

sent to hospital

Most of the patients, who are young people, recovered within 3-4 days.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty about the degree of danger and contagion of this variant with many mutations. Initial data from scientists show that current anti-vaccine vaccines will effectively protect the body from the severe course of the disease, which requires hospitalization, “said Karim.

South Africa registered 6,048 new cases on Saturday, a 20-fold increase from 306 positive tests two weeks earlier. But the deaths have remained unchanged so far, with 20 on Saturday.

The coronavirus variant omicron is expected to spread internationally, posing a very high global risk of a spike in infections that could have severe consequences in some areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The organization adds that omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are dangerous for their potential impact on the pandemic trajectory.

“Preliminary data suggest that people who have previously had COVID-19 may be at increased risk of becoming infected with the new strain of coronavirus,” the WHO said. The UN agency confirmed that the currently used PCR tests are able to detect infection with the new variant.

At the same time, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the company

Pfizer

must

adapts

your vaccine

against omicron

within

100 days,

if scientists prove it is dangerous. Von der Layen warned that we must be prepared for the worst because of the appearance of the new version of COVID-19.

The omicron variant, originally from Botswana, has more than 50 mutations, and more than 30 of them are of the spike protein. It carries the P681H and N679K mutations, which are rarely seen together and could make it very resistant to vaccines.

These two mutations, along with H655Y, could also make it easier for the virus to enter the body’s cells, scientists warn. The variant was discovered in South Africa last week, where most cases are concentrated, and was quickly spotted in Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium. Cases have since been reported in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Portugal.

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