Global Health: Half a million deaths from corona since the discovery of Omicron

The director of accident management at the organization, Abdi Mahmoud, said that 130 million injuries and 500 thousand deaths have been recorded in the world since the announcement of the worrisome mutant Omicron in late November.

Since then, the mutated Omicron has quickly overtaken Delta to become the world’s fastest-growing tyrant, although its symptoms appear to be less severe.

“In the era of effective vaccines, half a million people die, it is really unusual,” Mahmoud added in an interview with the public via the WHO’s accounts on social media.

He pointed out that “while everyone was saying that Omicron was less harmful, they forgot that half a million people have died since its discovery,” describing the matter as “more than tragic.”

Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s COVID-19 technical team, said the sheer number of Omicron infections is astounding, and the real numbers may be much higher than those known.

She considered that Omicron “makes the previous peaks appear almost flat”.

“We are still in the midst of this epidemic. I hope we are nearing its end,” she added, adding that “many countries have not yet passed the Omicron peak.”

Van Kerkhove expressed her great concern about the high number of deaths for several consecutive weeks, stressing that “this virus is still dangerous.”

The World Health Organization tracks four subspecies of the Omicron mutant. While the PA1 substrain was dominant, PA2 was more contagious and expected to account for an increasing share of Omicron infections.

Van Kerkhove said there was no indication yet that PA2 causes more severe symptoms than PA1, but stressed that evidence gathering was still “in the early stages.”

As for Mahmoud, he pointed out that it is not yet known whether infection with PA1 and PA2 is possible at the same time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has officially claimed more than 5,748,498 lives worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a count compiled by AFP on Tuesday.

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