Cases and deaths in countries within the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) declined by approximately 16 per cent and 14 per cent respectively in November compared to October. Despite the decline, concerning trends are on the horizon with cases and deaths rising globally and cases in Africa doubling in the final week of November.
On 26 November, the World Health Organization designated COVID-19 variant (B1.1.529) as a Variant of Concern, naming it Omicron. More data is needed to determine whether Omicron is more transmissible compared to previous variants, causes more severe symptoms, and its impact on the effectiveness of vaccines or natural immunity. While it is too early to definitively determine what Omicron means for humanitarian settings, countries with humanitarian emergencies are likely to be highly vulnerable because of their lack of vaccines and strained health systems. Omicron also comes at a time when countries are still battling waves of the Delta variant and economies are struggling to recover.
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