WHO warns COVID-19 patients about possible infection with omicron strain

WHO: the risk of infection with the omicron strain in those who have had coronavirus may be higher infection with a new omicron strain, which was discovered in South Africa and Botswana. This is reported by TASS.

According to preliminary data, the risk of infection with a new strain in patients with coronavirus may be higher. At the same time, it is emphasized that information on this matter is limited.

People who have previously suffered from COVID-19 may more easily become infected with omicron compared to other options of concern

World Health Organization on the infectiousness of the new omicron-strain of coronavirus According to the information available, South Africa has a higher hospital admission rate. However, it may not be associated with omicron infection, but with an increase in the number of sick people in general, the WHO explained.

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At the same time, the organization assured that the existing vaccines are effective against the new variant of COVID-19.

The borders are closed

Due to the spread of the new strain, countries began to close their borders again. Thus, Israel refused to admit foreigners from all countries into the country, except in cases approved by the Committee on Exceptions. Later, the decision to interrupt flights for two weeks was made in Morocco.

Bans on flights to South Africa have been imposed by the United Kingdom, the United States, members of the European Union, Arab countries and a number of other states. In this regard, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on world leaders to lift restrictions. There is no scientific evidence that the restrictions will help prevent the spread of the new strain, he said. However, they will definitely harm the economy and “undermine” all efforts made to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Ramaphosa said.

In turn, Federation Council member Vladimir Krugly said that the omicron COVID-19 strain has already appeared in Russia … He said that the source of its distribution could be citizens who visited Egypt, and called for the closure of air traffic with this country. However, later his words were denied by Rospotrebnadzor.

Missing letters

A new strain of coronavirus, code B.1.1.529, was identified in South Africa on November 11. The first confirmed cases of infection were recorded on November 24. The strain was named with the Greek letter “omicron” and have already recognized its danger at the WHO level.

The organization explained that they deliberately missed two letters of the Greek alphabet when naming a new strain of coronavirus. According to WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris, “nude” and “xi” were abandoned to avoid labels. Thus, the letter “nu” has been omitted because of its consonance with the English word “new” (new – “new”). It was decided to omit “Xi” due to the fact that in the English spelling it is identical to the surname Xi. This could cause unwanted associations with the leader of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping.

The representative of the World Health Organization in Russia, Melita Vuinovich, admitted that the new strain of coronavirus may be more infectious, but urged not to panic in connection with the emergence of a new version.