Is Omicron threat as big as the hype? Read what WHO experts say

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 05, 2021, 09:59 PM(IST)

Image for representation Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Experts have stressed that there has been no reported deaths or severe illness from the new variant which proves that it may not be as big a problem as some people have been portraying it to be in the past few weeks

While several international governments have been re-instating travel restrictions and other Covid related rules, the World Health Organization (WHO) and coronavirus experts believe the variant is only 'super mild'.

Experts have been warning international governments and organisations against creating a hysteria around the Omicron variant — the latest variant of COVID-19.

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Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, said this reaction was "medically seen, not justified."

The doctor has stressed that there has been no reported deaths or severe illness from the new variant which proves that it may not be as big a problem as some people have been portraying it to be in the past few weeks. "Looking at the mildness of the symptoms we are seeing, currently there is no reason for panicking as we don’t see any severely ill patients," Coetzee said.

South African doctors have also backed this theory and claimed that majority of the Omicron variant cases that they have seen till now have been "mild" and not severe. "Our clinicians have not witnessed severe illness. Part of it may be because the majority of those who are positive are young people," South Africa’s health minister Joe Phaahla said.

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WHO experts have also been warning countries to not impose travel restrictions as those are 'extreme measures' which are not needed in such mild situations. "These types of interventions are not sustainable. Those types of extreme measures are not our recommendations," said Dr Catherine Smallwood, Senior Emergency Officer at WHO's Regional Office for Europe.

Following the suit, another WHO expert, regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, urged countries to not impose travel restrictions. He added that these restrictions may help in reducing the spread but will also bring heavy negative impacts on the economy and livelihoods of locals of the isolated regions.

Majority of the patients who have been infected by the Omicron variant have reported nausea, dizziness and headache. There has been no reported case of

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