The World Health Organization has said current modelling suggests that more than half of the population of Europe will be infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the next six to eight weeks.
Speaking on Tuesday, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Europe director, Hans Kluge, gave a stark warning about the spread of coronavirus.
“At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that more than 50% of the population in the region will be infected with Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks,” Kluge told a news briefing.
The WHO’s top Europe official said that there were 7 million newly reported Covid-19 cases on the continent in the first week of 2022. The figure suggests that the Omicron variant’s prevalence has doubled over a two-week period.
The highly contagious variant has caused a huge surge in infection rates across the continent already. Last week, France recorded more than 300,000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours.
Omicron has also caused record Covid rates in the UK where some hospitals are being pushed to the limit with unvaccinated Britons taking up a large proportion of hospital beds.