WHO: Over Half of European Population to Get Infected With Omicron in Next 6-8 Weeks
12:24 GMT 11.01.2022 (Updated: 14:50 GMT 11.01.2022)
© AP Photo / Matt DunhamParamedics push a trolley next to a line of ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital in the Whitechapel area of east London, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022
© AP Photo / Matt Dunham
ZURICH (Sputnik) - More than 50% of the European population will get infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant in the next 6-8 weeks, Hans Kluge, the regional director for Europe at the World Health Organization (WHO), said on Tuesday.
Kluge cited a study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
"The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that more than 50% of the population in the region will be infected with Omicron in the next 6 to 8 weeks, data collected in recent weeks confirms that Omicron is highly transmissible," Kluge told a press briefing.
The WHO official mentioned that Omicron is becoming dominant in Western Europe and is spreading in the Balkans.
7 January 2022, 00:39 GMT
Omicron was first detected in South Africa in late November. The World Health Organization designated it a "variant of concern" due to an exceptionally high number of mutations. Despite multiple travel bans on Africa, the new variant has since been detected in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Health experts from various countries say the Omicron variant is much more transmissible, but produces milder symptoms.