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Home » New Omicron Strain, First Detected In UK, Appears To Be More Transmissible Than Previous Strains Of COVID-19: WHO

New Omicron Strain, First Detected In UK, Appears To Be More Transmissible Than Previous Strains Of COVID-19: WHO

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New Omicron strain, first detected in UK, appears to be more transmissible than previous strains of COVID-19: WHO

A new strain of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, first detected in the UK, appears to be more transmissible than previous strains of the coronavirus, the WHO has said, saying COVID-19 remains a public health emergency of international scope and warning that it is “too early” to reduce the quality of surveillance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update that the XE (BA.1-BA.2) recombinant was first detected in the UK on January 19 and more than 600 sequences have since been reported and confirmed.

“Early estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10% over BA.2. However, this finding requires further confirmation,” he said.

The Geneva-based UN health agency said XE belongs to the Omicron variant until significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, can be reported.

“WHO continues to closely monitor and assess the public health risk associated with recombinant variants, alongside other SARS-CoV-2 variants, and will provide updates as new evidence becomes available. available,” he said.

The weekly COVID19 epidemiological update, published on Wednesday, had indicated that deaths from COVID-19 last week increased by 43%, due to factors such as retrospective adjustments reported in India in the Asia region. from the South East.

Between late January and early March 2022, there was a downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases, which was followed by two consecutive weeks of increasing cases, the WHO said.

During the week of March 21-27 this year, the number of new cases fell again with a 14% drop from the previous week.

“On the other hand, during the same period, the number of new weekly deaths increased by 43%, probably due to changes in the definition of deaths due to COVID-19 in some countries of the Region of the Americas (Chile and United States of America) and by retrospective adjustments reported by India in the Southeast Asia region,” the update reads.

Across the six WHO regions, more than 10 million new cases and more than 45,000 new deaths have been reported.

All regions reported a downward trend in the number of new weekly cases and four regions reported a downward trend in the number of new weekly deaths. As of March 27, over 479 million confirmed cases and over 6 million deaths have been reported worldwide.

The update indicates that nationally, the highest number of new weekly cases were reported in South Korea (2,442,195 new cases; -13%), Germany (1,576,261 new cases; +2% ), Vietnam (1,127,716 new cases; -40%), France (845,119 new cases; +45%) and Italy (503,932 new cases; +6%).

The highest number of new weekly deaths was reported in Chile (11,858 new deaths; +1,710%), United States of America (5,367 new deaths; +83%), India (4,525 new deaths; +619%), Russia (2,859 new deaths; -22%) and South Korea (2,471 new deaths; +22%).

The Southeast Asia region reported more than 232,000 new weekly cases, down 14% from the previous week, continuing the downward trend seen since mid-January 2022.

However, Sri Lanka reported an increase in new weekly cases of 25% (2693 vs 2156 new cases).

The highest numbers of new cases were reported in Thailand (175,116 new cases; +4% increase), Indonesia (36,470 new cases; -49%) and India (11,612 new cases; -31 %).

The region reported just over 6,000 new weekly deaths, representing a 116% increase from the previous week. The highest number of new deaths was reported in India (4,525 new deaths; +619%) due to retrospective adjustments in some states, followed by Indonesia (932 new deaths; -41%) and Thailand ( 553 new deaths; + 3 percent).

The WHO has expressed concern over the recent significant reduction in testing for SARS-CoV-2 by several member states.
The data becomes progressively less representative, less current and less robust. “This inhibits our collective ability to track where the virus is, how it is spreading and how it is evolving: information and analysis that remains critical to effectively ending the acute phase of the pandemic,” he said. .

Decreasing testing, unless done judiciously as part of a strategy to maintain strong surveillance where it has the most impact, can affect countries’ ability to identify cases and enable their timely treatment or isolation, and to implement other necessary control measures, with the consequent risk of increased spread of SARS-CoV-2, he said.

“This can result in increased hospitalizations and deaths, and significant strains on health systems, particularly in areas where health and social measures have been lifted and where COVID-19 vaccination coverage is low. . Additionally, reduced testing impacts the ability of countries to detect emerging variants early, which ultimately undermines response efforts,” he said.

The UN agency declared COVID-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern, saying it was “too early” to reduce the quality of surveillance.

“Uncertainty around the characteristics of emerging variants limits our ability to confidently predict the behavior of this disease, as the rate of progression and risk of emerging variants is still high, which could undermine prevention and response measures. mitigation.

“Until we reach the end of the acute phase of the pandemic, countries must maintain sufficient epidemiological surveillance to inform evidence-based operational decision-making on critical parameters, including vaccination strategies, the composition of the vaccine, the use of therapeutics and appropriate and appropriate public health. and social measures,” he said.



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