At a time when the Omicron wave is subsiding and the world is limping back to normalcy, the experts have warned that the next Covid-19 variant will be more transmissible and more deadly than the earlier variants.
Addressing a press briefing, World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist and technical lead on Covid-19 Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said the pandemic is far from over and future variants will be in some way more virulent than Omicron is now.
The expert said, “The next variant of concern will be more fit, and what we mean by that is it will be more transmissible because it will have to overtake what is currently circulating. The big question is whether or not future variants will be more or less severe.”
She also warned that the next variant could more easily evade immunity which can render the vaccines to be less effective.
However, she advised getting the jab as it protects against severe illness and death, as exhibited during the Omicron wave.
Dr Van Kerkhove further added, “We expect that with the right interventions, the circulation of Covid-19 will be low. But even within those circulations, there will be flare-ups among people who are not protected by the vaccine or those who have waning immunity.”