New Delhi: West Bengal on Wednesday (December 15, 2021) reported its first Omicron case. A 7-year-old child who arrived from Hyderabad (Telangana) has tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant in the Murshidabad district.
The child’s parents, however, have tested negative.
The child, who is an international traveller, had reportedly tested positive at the Hyderabad airport and had directly left for West Bengal.
Earlier in the day, Hyderabad had also registered two cases of the new COVID-19 variant. A 24-year-old Kenyan woman and a 23-year-old Somalian man who arrived at the Hyderabad international airport on December 12 had tested positive.
Meanwhile, the WHO has warned that Omicron is spreading at a rate that the world has not seen with any previous COVID-19 variant.
During a media briefing on COVID-19, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that 77 countries have now reported cases of Omicron.
“The reality is that Omicron is probably in most countries, even if it hasn’t been detected yet. Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems,” he said.
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. pic.twitter.com/YAVfJXsviQ
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) December 14, 2021
The WHO chief also raised concern over vaccine inequity and said that there remains a ‘vast gap’ in rates of vaccination between countries.
He informed that 41 countries have still not been able to vaccinate 10% of their populations, and 98 countries have not reached 40%.