The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is killing people across the globe and should not be dismissed as mild, the World Health Organization insisted Thursday.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the record numbers of
people catching the new variant — which is rapid out-competing the
previously-dominant Delta variant in many countries — meant hospitals
were being overwhelmed.

Tedros told a press conference that While Omicron does appear to be
less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not
mean it should be categorised as mild,”.

Just under 9.5 million new Covid-19 cases were reported to the WHO
last week — a record, up 71 percent on the week before.

But even this was an underestimate, Tedros said, as it did not reflect the
backlog of testing around the Christmas-New Year holidays, positive
self-tests not registered, and overburdened surveillance systems missing

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