Individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 are 3 to 5 times more likely to be reinfected with the Omicron variant compared to Delta, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to Hans Henri P Kluge, the WHO's Regional Director for Europe, Omicron variant can evade previous immunity in people. "So it can still infect those who have had Covid-19 in the past, those who are unvaccinated, and those who were vaccinated many months ago," Kluge said in a recent note. "There are three things that we need to do urgently: protect ourselves through vaccination, prevent further infections, and prepare health systems for a surge in cases".
Kluge said that health authorities must strengthen capacity, increase testing and trace capacities, engage primary health care in case management, prepare hospitals for a surge, and support health and frontline workers.
"Two years in, our health workers are being severely tested once again. It is deeply worrying that one in 5 is suffering from anxiety and depression from the pandemic. Their concerns must be addressed and their need for manageable working conditions supported," the WHO executive had stressed.
Europe witnessed Covid cases cross 1 million for the first time this week. Europe has recorded over 100 million Covid cases, more than a third of all infections worldwide, since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, India witnessed a 21 per cent surge in 24 hours, as it recorded more than 1.4 lakh fresh Covid infections on Friday. With the addition of 285 new deaths, the total deaths toll has climbed to 4,83,463. The Omicron infection tally reached 3,071 across the nation, according to the Health Ministry.