Geneva (dpa) – The World Health Organization has put the XBB.1.16 coronavirus variant on its watch list. “We’re seeing characteristics that indicate increased infection capacity,” Mike Ryan, director of emergency response for the World Health Organization in Geneva, said on Tuesday.
According to the previous information, the symptoms are the same as with other variants. XBB.1.16 was first reported in January. The variant now accounts for 4.2 percent of the 3,000 virus sequences transmitted. A month ago it was only 0.5 percent. “This type can continue to spread around the world and may lead to an increase in cases,” Ryan said. However, there are currently no signs that it causes a more severe exacerbation of the disease. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there are only a few records of XBB.1.16 in Germany.
These lists are available from the World Health Organization
on Watchlist The Variables in Control (VUMs) are seven variables, one more at the next higher level, the “Variant of Interest” (VOI). There are currently no variables of concern (VOC) listed
The emergency committee, which advises the World Health Organization on whether the highest level of alert should continue to apply to the coronavirus pandemic, will meet again in the first week of May. He is debating whether to recommend that the World Health Organization lift the “State of Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC). According to Ryan, many countries are at a point where they have relatively few serious diseases with high vaccination rates. For them, coronavirus is no longer an emergency, Ryan said, but by no means is this the case for all countries. Within four weeks, there were still three million infections reported – despite the lack of any testing in many places – and more than 23,000 deaths related to SARS-CoV-2.
We hope that in the near future there will be as little virus activity as possible and that the number of cases will only increase seasonally, similar to influenza viruses or RSV. “We’re not going to get rid of the virus,” Ryan said. It will continue to cause serious illnesses.
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