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WHO still recommends 14-day quarantine for COVID-19 patients

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GENEVA – Although most COVID-19 recipients recover within five to seven days of the onset of their symptoms, the World Health Organization (WHO) still recommends 14-day quarantine, according to a health official. organization at a press briefing on Tuesday.

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However, Abdi Mahamud of WHO’s COVID-19 Incident Management Support Team said countries should make decisions about the duration of quarantine based on their diverse situations.

In countries with low infections, a longer quarantine period can help keep the number of cases as low as possible, he explained. In areas with “runaway cases,” however, shorter quarantines may be justified to keep countries running, he added.

Meanwhile, the WHO official told the media that it is possible to be infected with both influenza and COVID-19. However, because the two are separate viruses that attack the body in different ways, there is only a “little risk” of coming together as a new virus.

According to the WHO, on December 29, 2021, approximately 128 countries reported cases of the Omicron variant. In South Africa, which first saw a sharp increase in cases followed by a slightly rapid decline, hospitalization and death rates remain low.

However, the situation will not be the same in other countries, Mahamud said.

“While the latest studies all point to the fact that the Omicron variant affects the upper respiratory system rather than the lungs, which is good news, high-risk individuals and the unvaccinated could still get gravely ill from that variant,” he added.

Mahamud said the Omicron variant could overtake other strains within a few weeks, especially in areas with a large number of susceptible people especially those not vaccinated against COVID-19.

In Denmark, he said, it took two weeks to double the number of cases when the Alpha variant came in, while in the Omicron variant, it only took two days.

“The world has never seen such a transmissible virus,” he said.

The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization is scheduled to meet on January 19 to review the situation. Topics on the agenda for discussion include the timing of boosters, the mixing of vaccines and the composition of future vaccines.