WHO warns that pose of Omicron variant is a “very high” global risk as the first case detected in North America


The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned countries that variants of the Omicron CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pose a “very high” global risk.

“Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerned about the potential impact on the pandemic orbit,” WHO said in a technical brief on 28 November, including the United States and China. Said to 194 members.

“Global risks associated with new variants [of concern] Omicron is rated very high, “he added later.

Still, WHO scientists, like experts around the world, are not sure if Omicron is actually raising the issue.

The main questions are related to how contagious the mutant is, whether it can avoid protection from vaccines and innate immunity, and whether it causes more serious illness than other mutants. Yes, scientists say.

The strain “may be associated with a potential antigenic escape and higher infectivity, but there is still considerable uncertainty,” member states said.

“We know that this is a variant that has many mutations, so we are worried that it is a sufficiently different virus and may not respond to protection from the vaccine. But we don’t know that, “Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said in Fox News Sunday.

In another statement, WHO said, “It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more contagious.” The body also said, “It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more serious illness compared to infection with other mutants.” The “limited” information available suggests that people who have previously been infected with COVID-19 may be at increased risk of reinfection, WHO said.

Epoch Times Photo
Travelers will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel on November 28, 2021. (Ariel Charit / AP Photo)

The aspects of Omicron have been studied by researchers in South Africa and other countries, and they plan to share their findings when new updates become available.

Omicron was first detected in Botswana and South Africa earlier this month.

Since then, cases have been confirmed in various regions such as Hong Kong, Israel and the United Kingdom.

On Sunday night, Ottawa officials in Canada announced the first confirmed case in the country. They said both individuals recently traveled from Nigeria.

No cases have been confirmed in the United States, but government health officials are divided on whether Omicron has yet arrived.

“There’s no proof that it is, so I’m on the fence about it,” Collins said on CNN.

The United States and many other countries have banned or reduced travel from countries in southern Africa in response to Omicron.

US President Joe Biden called it “a precautionary measure until more information is available.”

A top South African doctor said the case of Omicron she saw showed unusual but mild symptoms.

She and some South African officials, like WHO, have blamed the ban.

“Travel restrictions may help reduce the spread of COVID-19 slightly, but they also put a heavy burden on life and livelihoods,” WHO said.

Zachary Stieber


Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and proceedings. He started in The Epoch Times as a metro reporter for New York City.