Published: 29th December 2021
COVID: WHO deems Omicron risk as 'very high', says it could ravage health systems
The warning comes as the Union Health Ministry said, on December 29, that the Omicron tally has climbed up to 781
The overall risk associated with the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus remains 'very high' and this could cause widespread disruption to health systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
In its weekly epidemiological update, the WHO said that, "The overall risk related to the new variant of concern, Omicron, remains very high." The update read, "Consistent evidence shows that the Omicron variant has a growth advantage over the Delta variant with a doubling time of two to three days." The warning comes as the Union Health Ministry said, on December 29, that the Omicron tally has climbed up to 781 in India, out of which 241 have been discharged. In the last 24 hours, India registered 9,195 fresh COVID-19 cases, a significant spike from the previous day's figure of 6,358 and 302 deaths, the Ministry added.
The national capital has the highest number of cases of the variant at 238, followed by Maharashtra at 167 cases, so far. According to Catherine Smallwood, COVID Incident Manager with WHO Europe, Omicron's growth "will still result in large numbers of hospitalisations, particularly amongst unvaccinated groups, and cause widespread disruption to health systems and other critical services".