- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

'We'll Never Be Able to Wave Goodbye': Danish Researchers Don't Share WHO’s COVID Optimism for 2022

© REUTERS / ELIZABETH FRANTZA sign requiring masks is seen outside of a closed-down business during the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Washington, U.S., December 27, 2021.
A sign requiring masks is seen outside of a closed-down business during the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Washington, U.S., December 27, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.01.2022
According to Danish infection researchers, the coronavirus will affect people's everyday lives even when the pandemic, which has claimed more than 5 million lives worldwide, is over. Instead, the goal is to achieve such good immunity that it allows to deal with COVID-19 like other known diseases, they suggested.
The coronavirus will not disappear from our everyday lives during 2022, Danish researchers have suggested, disagreeing with optimistic forecasts made by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In his summary of 2021, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that if all goes well, 2022 could be the year the pandemic ends. That said, he still stressed that in order for that to happen, most people in all countries would have to be vaccinated. In his New Year's statement, he also warned against “narrow nationalism” and “vaccine hoarding”, which, as he ventured, undermine equity.
However, Danish researchers find his upbeat prognosis unlikely. For instance, Eskild Petersen, professor of infectious diseases at Aarhus University, ventured that the world will have to live with the pandemic for at least several years.
Chief physician at Aarhus University Hospital and professor Lars Østergaard went so far as to suggest that the coronavirus will affect our everyday lives even when the pandemic is over.
“The pandemic may end. But that doesn't mean that corona will disappear from our everyday lives. I think we will never be able to wave goodbye to the coronavirus. What we want is to have such good immunity in the population that we can deal with it like the other diseases we know”, Østergaard said, as quoted by Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
Denmark is currently engulfed in a record-breaking wave, resulting in the world's highest infection rate amid the onslaught of the novel Omicron strain. A not yet peer-reviewed preprint Danish study classified it as more apt at bypassing existing immunity, be it through vaccination or previous infection, yet less contagious than expected.
Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in New York City - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.01.2022
Omicron COVID Strain
Omicron More Apt at Sidestepping Immunity, Though Less Contagious Than Feared – Danish Study
Nevertheless, Denmark's case count figures have risen by two orders of magnitude from the low 200s in September, when it folded down restrictions and stopped seeing COVID-19 as “society-critical” disease, to over 20,000 in recent days. The towering infection rates have even prompted the country's medical authorities to stop disease-tracking in an attempt to break up infection chains, instead focusing on counselling.
“My opinion is that now the infection detection has been left over to the Danes themselves. They know that they have to go into self-isolation and inform friends and acquaintances that they are infected,” Eskild Petersen told TV2.
Meanwhile, Global COVID cases now stand at over 287 million, with nearly 5.5 million dead.
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