WHO Director General Tedros A Ghebreyesus said that a total of 77 countries have reported Omicron cases so far.

A group of people in India wearing masks and standing in a line during the coronavirus pandemicImage for representation: PTI
news Coronavirus Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 12:46

The Omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. WHO Director General Tedros A Ghebreyesus said that a total of 77 countries have reported Omicron cases so far but the reality is that this variant is probably yet to be detected in some countries. "Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant. I need to be very clear: vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis. It's not vaccines instead of masks, distancing, ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well", said Ghebreyesus.

He said that there remains a vast gap in rates of COVID-19 vaccination between countries. "41 countries still have not been able to vaccinate 10% of their populations. 98 countries have not reached 40%. We also see significant inequities between population groups in the same country", said Dr Tedros.

In India, the Omicron variant caseload is rising each day. Delhi on Tuesday, December 14, reported four more cases of Omicron taking the total tally to six. However, one person infected with the Omicron variant has been discharged from the hospital.

Read: Need to be ready to modify vaccines as required: India’s COVID Task Force chief

Eight more persons tested positive for the Omicron variant in Maharashtra on Tuesday. The total number of cases of Omicron variant in Maharashtra is now at 28. The other states where this variant has been reported includes Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh and Union Territory of Chandigarh. Telangana reported its first two cases of Omicron variant on December 15, Wednesday, which were detected among passengers arriving at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.