Latest Breaking News India

WHO Europe Suggests Boosters To Tackle Omicron

Geneva: The European head of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries on Tuesday of a “significant surge” in COVID-19 cases as Omicron spreads, and suggested the widespread use of boosters for protection.

Omicron has been found in at least 38 of the 53 nations in the WHO’s European region since it surfaced in late November. It is already dominant in several countries including Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom, WHO regional director of Europe, Hans Kluge was quoted as saying in a news conference in Vienna.

“We can see another storm coming. Within weeks, Omicron will dominate in more countries of the region, pushing already stretched health systems further to the brink,” Kluge was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.

The Europe region of the WHO includes Russia and other former Soviet republics, and Turkey as well.

According to WHO data, the region has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases compared to the population size anywhere in recent weeks. Officials had warned of a further 700,000 fatalities from the disease by March even before the emergence of Omicron.

WHO headquarters in Geneva has suggested that vaccine boosters be saved for the most vulnerable, but Kluge appealed to people to “boost, boost, boost.”

“The booster is the single most important defence against Omicron,” Kluge said.

“The sheer volume of new COVID-19 infections could lead to more hospitalizations and widespread disruption to health systems and other critical services.

“Governments and authorities need to prepare our response systems for a significant surge,” Kluge was quoted as saying by the agency.