More than 50% of the European population will have contracted the omicron variant of the coronavirus in the next 6 to 8 weeks, at the current rate of transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.
The forecast is based on a calculation carried out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations (IHME), of the University of Washington, cited by the director of WHO-Europe, Hans Kluge.
Kluge highlighted in his first appearance in 2022 that twenty-six countries in the WHO European region – which includes 53, including several from Central Asia – have reported that more than one percent of their population is contracting coronavirus per week.
WHO considers it premature to consider COVID-19 as an endemic disease
The uncertainty related to the coronavirus, the high transmissibility of the omicron variant and the hospital burden derived from it make it premature to think about treating COVID-19 as an endemic disease, the regional office for Europe of the World Organization of Health (WHO).
“We must be very cautious with predictions about the future,” WHO-Europe director Hans Kluge said at a press conference, insisting that the priority right now is to protect vulnerable groups and health personnel, as well as minimize disruption to the economy and schools.
Kluge recalled that the coronavirus has surprised “more than once” and that “it is not a good idea” to make forecasts, in addition to highlighting that the fundamental objective for this year is “to stabilize the pandemic.”
Collapse in primary care
This WHO announcement coincides with an explosion of COVID-19 infections that have led to the collapse of health centers. Primary Care physicians denounce the unsustainable situation they have experienced for a month. “We are literally being devoured by the healthcare pressure that this wave of coronavirus is causing. We are not only being devoured, we are in an agonizing situation,” says Dr. Ana Joyanes, spokesperson for the Association of Primary Care in the Canary Islands.
The primary care centers of Catalonia have once again beat the record of daily visits throughout the epidemic this Monday, with a total of 97,081, surpassing the 81,673 that were attended last Friday, while the number of hospitalized and admissions in the hospitals continues to grow. ICU, and also mortality.
The spread of the virus continues to slow, but outpatient visits by COVID patients continue to skyrocket, causing primary care to collapse.