26 Jan 2022, 09:49

Omicron risk remains very high: WHO

GENEVA, Jan 26, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - The risk level related to the Omicron
variant remains very high, the WHO said late Tuesday, with the numbers of new
Covid-19 cases hitting another record high last week.

  "Over 21 million new cases were reported, representing the highest number
of weekly cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic," the World
Health Organization said in its weekly epidemiological coronavirus update.

  The UN health agency said the number of new infections increased by five
percent in the week to Sunday -- compared to the 20 percent rise registered
the week before.

  "A slower increase in case incidence was observed at the global level," the
WHO said.

  Nearly 50,000 new deaths were also reported, it added -- a similar figure
to the week before.

  The report said Omicron continued to increase its dominance globally over
the other variants of concern.

  "The current global epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 is characterised by the
dominance of the Omicron variant on a global scale, continued decline in the
prevalence of the Delta variant, and very low-level circulation of Alpha,
Beta and Gamma variants," the WHO said.

  "Countries that experienced a rapid rise in Omicron cases in November and
December 2021 have been or are beginning to see declines in cases.

  However, "based on the currently available evidence, the overall risk
related to the Omicron variant remains very high".

  The WHO said that of samples collected in the last 30 days that have been
sequenced and uploaded to the GISAID global science initiative, Omicron
accounted for 89.1 percent.

  Delta -- previously the world's dominant variant -- now makes up 10.7

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