The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued notice that the highly contagious Omicron strain should not be categorized as ‘mild,’ although its symptoms may be less severe.
Officials stated that the studies showed the new strain had led to fewer hospitalizations than the previous Delta-variant and has a reduced risk of severity in younger and old people.
While the Delta-variant is still the globally dominant strain of coronavirus, cases of Omicron are multiplying rapidly across the globe.
“While Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorized as mild,” director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing on Thursday.
“Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalizing people and it is killing people,” the director general added.
Officials also stressed the importance of vaccination, highlighting that 109 countries will fall short of the WHO’s target for fully vaccinating at least 70% of the global population.
In Pakistan, over 1,000 new coronavirus cases have been detected in the past 24 hours as of Friday evening, the highest record in over three months.
In Sindh, over 80 per cent of new cases in the province have tested positive for Omicron. In Karachi, the positivity rate of coronavirus has doubled in one week, reaching 10.25 per cent with 650 people testing positive on January 6.