Half of all Europe will catch omicron virus within two months, says WHO
More than half of Europe’s population will catch the Omicron variant of coronavirus within the next six to eight weeks, a top official from the World Health Organisation has said.
More than seven million new Covid cases were reported in the region in the first week of 2022, with numbers more than doubling over a two-week period.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, the European director for the World Health Organisation, Dr Hans Kluge, said: “At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) forecasts that more than 50 percent of the population in the region will be infected with Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks.”
In a Covid-19 results briefing covering the European Union, which was released on January 8, the IHME wrote: “Our models for the European Union suggest that infections will peak at just under 5 million in the middle of January, although national peaks will vary considerably, with later peaks in the eastern part of the EU.
“We expect more than 50 percent of the EU population will be infected by Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks. The infection-detection rate (IDR) is declining, although shortages of testing may lead to more rapid decreases in the IDR than we currently model.”