WHO: South Africa and Botswana accumulate 62% of Omicron cases in the world


Ómicron continues its spread in African countries.

Photo: EPA / DANIEL IRUNGU / EFE

South Africa and Botswana account for 62% of Omicron cases, the new variant of the coronavirus, detected in the world, reported this Thursday the World Health Organization (WHO).

So far, South Africa and Botswana have reported 172 and 19 cases of omicron, respectively, the WHO Africa office said in a statement, underlining that the countries of the continent are “redoubling measures to detect and control” the spread of the disease. new variant.

To date, four African countries have confirmed Omicron infections, with Nigeria (three cases) and Ghana (undetermined number) being the last to provide such data.

Worldwide, the UN agency specified, More than twenty countries have registered cases of the new variant, the detection of which was announced a week ago by scientists and health authorities in South Africa.

“The timely detection and notification of the new variant by Botswana and South Africa has bought the world time,” said Matshidiso Moeti, OMDS Regional Director for Africa.

“We have an opportunity, but we must act quickly and increase detection and prevention measures. Countries must adjust their response to COVID-19 and prevent an increase in cases from spreading across Africa and possibly overwhelming already overwhelmed health facilities, ”Moeti said.

The UN agency emphasized that Omicron “has a large number of mutations (32)“And” preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection, compared to other worrisome variants. “

Researchers and scientists from South Africa and the region are intensifying their research to understand the transmissibility, severity and impact of the new variant in relation to available vaccines, diagnoses and treatment.

They are also trying to find out if omicron is driving the increase in new COVID-19 infections during the last week in the southern continent, which has experienced an increase in infections, driven mainly by South Africa.

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