Omicron reported in 57 countries, WHO says hospitalizations likely to rise

A COVID positive patient being monitored by healthcare workers in Kashmir. [FPK Photo/Zainab.]

The Omicron variant has been reported in 57 countries and the number of patients needing hospitalization is likely to rise as it spreads, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

The WHO, in its weekly epidemiological report, said more data was needed to assess the severity of disease caused by the Omicron variant and whether its mutations might reduce protection from vaccine-derived immunity, international news agency Reuters reported.

“Even if the severity is equal or potentially even lower than for Delta variant, it is expected that hospitalisations will increase if more people become infected and that there will be a time lag between an increase in the incidence of cases and an increase in the incidence of deaths,” the report quoted the WHO as saying.

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