European leaders issued warnings on Friday that the Omicron variant will likely become the dominant strain of Covid-19 in less than a week.
“We expect it to overtake Delta within days, not weeks,” First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon told the Washington Post.
The U.K. Health Security Agency has also sounded the alarm over the variant, saying that Omicron has a”high growth rate,” that far outpaces Delta, making its dominance expected. Danish researchers have predicted that Omicron will be the dominant strain “by the end of next week.”
European health officials are also bracing themselves for a “potential tsunami of infections” as the holidays coalesce with Omicron’s spread.
The Delta variant remains the dominant strain of Covid in the United States, but officials are pointing to Omicron’s spread overseas as a sign of what will likely happen in America.
Greek health expert says it’s still too early to make conclusions about Omicron
Although other European health officials are making firm predictions about Omicron’s potential dominance based on the rate of the variant’s spread alone, Greek expert Elias Mosialos said it is still too early to draw any meaningful conclusions about the Omicron variant. Mosialos insisted that we must wait for another 10 to 15 days before that can occur.
Mosialos is the Brian-Abel Smith Professor of Health Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE).
In March of 2020, the Greek expert was appointed as a representative of the Greek government to international organizations tasked with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Professor Mosialos was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Department of Public Health Policy of the School of Public Health of the University of West Attica (PADA), for his work on the pandemic.
Demographics crucial on containing the pandemic
Mosialos said that it is difficult to say that one country has fared better or worse than others in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
“As other countries (have), Greece has done its best to contain the virus in the country,” Mosialos stated.
He said that in order to continue to do so, it must take into consideration a number of important factors, such as demographics, which he considers crucial.
“We need to take into account a number of variables. If we compare, for example, Greece to Turkey, we have 22 percent of our population over 65 years old, compared to 9 percent in Turkey and 11 percent in Israel,” Mosialos said.
Professor Mosialos noted additional variables that are important to take into consideration when we want to compare how one country performed during the pandemic in relation to others.
“Other factors we have to consider are the percentage of people with chronic conditions, health system resilience, or funding the health care system to respond to the pressures of the pandemic,” he stated.