OREANDA-NEWS. The World Health Organization expects an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to the Omicron coronavirus strain. This was announced on December 14 in the press service of the WHO.

"As the number of cases associated with a worrying option increases, all over the world we expect information on the number of hospitalized cases and even deaths to appear," the press service quoted RIA Novosti as saying.

The day before, the UK reported the first death of a patient with the identified Omicron strain. Commenting on this information, the WHO indicated that many countries do not yet have the capacity to consistently analyze samples of all deaths or infections with a new strain, so it is difficult to provide accurate data on the actual number of deaths due to Omicron.

More details on the severity of this variant of the coronavirus are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. The WHO stressed that in order to fully understand the clinical picture of those infected with Omicron, additional information is needed that states can provide by sharing information about hospitalized patients through the organization's clinical data platform.

On November 26, WHO designated the B.1.1.529 strain found in southern Africa with the Greek letter omicron. The WHO statement also said that this variant of the coronavirus has a large number of mutations, some of which are of concern.

It has already become widespread at least in the UK. According to the head of the British Ministry of Health Sajid Javid, the rate of spread of this strain is phenomenal. He also said that Omicron probably accounts for about 40% of infections in London.