Despite the "unprecedented" rapidity of contagion, "there are a greater number of asymptomatic cases, there are fewer people who need to be hospitalised and mortality rates in hospitals are lower", underlined the European director at a press conference, noting the effectiveness of vaccines that have already approved.

Hans Kluge stated that at the current rate, it is predicted that “more than 50 percent of the population of the region will be infected by Omicron in the next six to eight weeks", indicating that the mutations of this variant "allow it to adhere more easily to human cells, being able to infect even people who have already been infected or are vaccinated".

Hans Kluge reinforced that the spread of the variant has increased the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 but that the mortality rate remains stable.

In the WHO European region, which includes 53 countries, more than seven million infections were recorded during the first week of 2022 and, according to data updated on Monday, 26 countries reported that over 1% of their population had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 each week.

For the official, who pointed out the "unprecedented" contagion, the current wave "challenges health systems and the provision of services in several countries where Omicron has spread rapidly".

Hans Kluge considered that the objective of 2022 is, above all, to stabilise the pandemic, recognising that "the virus has already surprised more than once".