Omicron may cause mild disease, more infectious than Delta: EU health body

WION Web Team
BrusselsUpdated: Dec 09, 2021, 11:43 PM IST

Morning News Brief Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

European Medicines Agency's Marco Cavaleri said early research showed that Omicron is more infectious than Delta.

As the Omicron variant continues to spread worldwide, the European Medicines Agency (EMU) said the new strain may cause mild disease.

However, the European medical body maintained that more tests needed to be done. 

The variant which was first discovered in South Africa led to a worldwide flight ban on several African countries even as investigations are still underway over critical elements about the new variant.

EMA's Marco Cavaleri said early research showed that Omicron is more infectious than Delta. Amid the new variant threat, WHO's vaccines chief Kate O'Brien cautioned high-income countries against "reverting" to vaccine hoarding.

The UN health body said severe cases under the Omicron variant remains low however it asked countries to ramp up vaccination as Africa struggles to vaccinate its citizens against the virus. The WHO had said that the Omicron variant may reinfect people faster than other variants including those who have been vaccinated.

Watch: Tougher restrictions introduced in UK amid Omicron variant

WHO informed that the virus has surged in the past week in Africa recording 107,000 COVID-19 cases with southern African witnessing the greatest surge. 

South Africa gave the authorisation for booster shots amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the country as it battles the fourth wave.

South Africa's health regulators also authorised Pfizer jab for kids over 12.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin told South African President Ramaphosa that his country will be sending virus specialists to South Africa to help establish a coronavirus research lab as the country continues to battle against the virus.

(With inputs from Agencies)