Corona injuries increased by 89%, and deaths decreased by 13% in the Eastern Mediterranean

A World Health Organization official said yesterday that a staggering rise in the number of Covid-19 infections in the eastern Mediterranean region is likely to be the result of the spread of the mutated Omicron from the Corona virus, and warned that some countries in the region still have low vaccination rates.

Ahmed Al-Manzari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said that cases of COVID-19 rose by 89% in the Eastern Mediterranean region in the first week of January compared to the previous week, but deaths decreased by 13%.

He added that of the 22 countries in the region, mostly Middle Eastern countries, 15 countries have recorded Omicron cases.

“While Omicron appears to cause less severe disease than Delta, especially among those who received the vaccine, this certainly does not mean that it should be underestimated as it still leads to hospitalizations and death,” he added.

He said that six countries in the region, namely Afghanistan, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, have vaccinated less than 10% of their population, despite the availability of enough vaccines to vaccinate 40% of the population. Only 36 countries in the world have recorded this low level of vaccination, according to data from the World Health Organization. He added that vaccination campaigns have been disrupted by problems including a lack of political commitment, a lack of security and logistical challenges.

Meanwhile, the rate of Covid-19 infections in the British capital, London, has decreased, raising hopes that the outbreak of the Omicron mutant will abate.

And the Office of National Statistics in Britain said that Corona injuries in the United Kingdom rose to 4.3 million in the first week of January, compared to 3.7 million cases the previous week, according to Bloomberg News Agency.

England had the largest share of injuries, with more than 3.7 million injuries, and the highest rate of injuries at 1 per 15 people. But infections in London, which was the epicenter of the virus outbreak, fell from 1 in 10 people to 1 in 15

person. In the context, the government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reduced the period of self-isolation for those infected with Covid-19 in England to five days instead of seven, as the increase in Omicron’s injuries led to a shortage of crews in hospitals, schools and companies.

And Health Minister Sajid Javid told the House of Commons yesterday, according to what was reported by Bloomberg, that the reduction will take effect from January 17. He added that data from the British Health Security Agency showed that about two-thirds of positive cases of corona were no longer contagious by the end of the five days.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said yesterday that preliminary data from an experiment it conducted on its Covid-19-resistant vaccine showed that the third booster dose of it generates a greater antibody response against Omicron and other mutated strains of the Corona virus, including beta, delta, alpha and gamma.

The global pharmaceutical company said that the increased response was observed in those who were previously vaccinated with either its vaccine or one of the vaccines that rely on messenger RNA technology.

It added that it will send this data to regulators around the world due to the urgent need for the booster doses.

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