The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the COVID-19 Omicron variant is threatening to overwhelm medical professionals in Europe.

There is apprehension about the possibility of more people on the continent getting infected in coming weeks.

WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge noted that the Omicron wave represents a “new west to east tidal wave sweeping across the region”.

On Tuesday, the official said health workers still bear the greatest burden due to their roles on the frontline.

It is estimated that in two months, at least 50 percent of Europeans might have contracted Omicron. There were 7 million new cases in the first week of January.

As of Monday, more than two dozen countries reported that over 1 per cent of their population was being infected each week.

“How each country now responds must be informed by its epidemiological situation, available resources, vaccination uptake status and socioeconomic context”, WHO said.

The world now has to contend with Deltacron – a combination of delta and omicron – discovered in Cyprus and IHU in France.

In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank says despite a strong rebound in 2021, the global economy is entering a slowdown because of new COVID-19 variants.

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