The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) forecasts that more than 50% of the population in the European region will be infected with Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks, WHO/Europe regional director, Hans Henri Kluge, said at a briefing, Report informs.

“As many as 50 of the 53 countries in Europe and central Asia have now reported cases of Omicron. It is quickly becoming the dominant virus in western Europe and is now spreading in the Balkans,” he said, noting that, according to the data collected in recent weeks, omicron is highly transmissible.

He noted that the approved vaccines protect people from severe disease and death, including for Omicron. Meanwhile, mortality rates remain stable and continue to be highest in countries with high COVID-19 incidence, combined with lower vaccination uptake.