World Health Organization has warned the Omicron and Delta coronavirus variants could produce a tsunami of COVID-19 cases that will put immense pressure on healthcare systems.

Iran PressEurope: “I’m highly concerned that Omicron, being more transmissible and circulating at the same time as Delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at an online news conference on Wednesday.

Two years after the new coronavirus first emerged, top officials with the United Nations health agency have cautioned it was still too early to be reassured by initial data suggesting Omicron, the latest variant to be detected, led to milder disease.

First reported last month in Southern Africa, it is already the dominant variant in the United States and parts of Europe.

As 92 of the WHO’s 194 member countries missed a target to vaccinate 40 percent of their populations by the end of this year, Tedros urged everyone to make a “New Year’s resolution” to get behind a campaign to vaccinate 70 percent of countries’ populations by the beginning of July.

According to WHO’s figures, the number of COVID-19 cases recorded worldwide increased by 11 percent last week compared with the previous week, with nearly 4.99 million newly reported from December 20 to 26.

Concerned over the rise in cases, the WHO chief said it would put “immense pressure on exhausted health workers and health systems of [on] the brink of collapse.”


Read More:

US sets a new record for daily Covid cases amid Omicron surge

Omicron could displace Delta variant