The United Kingdom called for an urgent meeting of Health Ministers of the Group of Seven (G7, most developed economies) for today, to address the evolution of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, reported the British ministry of the branch.
The Group of Seven is made up of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as the European Union as a guest.
The Omicron variant, which led many countries to suspend flights to southern Africa, where it was initially identified, worries the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the thirty mutations it presents and its apparent greater transmissibility and risk of reinfection.
The UK said it has so far detected three infections of this type; Canada also confirmed the first two cases.
The British Government announced the reintroduction of masks in closed spaces, PCR tests when returning from abroad and requested to accelerate the booster dose of the vaccine.
However, in Mexico, the Undersecretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell minimized the situation and said that “the information disseminated about the risks of the new variant is disproportionate.”
He acknowledged that some data suggest that Ómicron “has greater transmissibility than the previous ones”, but he ruled out closures at the border or travel in Mexico because he assured that “they are not very useful measures; they affect the economy and the well-being of the peoples ”.
There is still no indication that the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus causes more severe cases of COVID-19 or with symptoms different from those of previous strains, highlighted a group of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) that studies this latest evolution. SARS-CoV-2.
Although the rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19 has increased in recent days in South Africa, the country where the variant was first detected, “this could be the result of a general increase in those infected, and not just specific infections with the omicron variant “The experts said in a statement.
On the other hand, many of the first reported Omicron infections are among university students, “young people who tend to suffer more moderate forms of the disease,” highlighted the members of the WHO Advisory Group of Experts on the Evolution of Viruses.
The study group insisted that “understanding the level of severity of the omicron variant may take several days or weeks.”
The experts added that the variant appears to increase the risk of reinfection (the possibility that a person who has previously had COVID-19 will contract the disease again), but that “it is not yet clear if it is more contagious” in other cases. .
On the response of anticovid treatments, the scientists noted that corticosteroids and interleukin-6 (IL6) antagonists appear to remain effective in critically ill patients, while there are no conclusions yet on the response of existing vaccines to the omicron variant.
The Ómicron, whose first cases were detected two weeks ago and that worries about the more than 30 mutations that have been identified, it was considered a “variant of concern” by the group of experts of the WHO this Friday, which requires special monitoring by laboratories around the world.