WHO Classifies Omicron (B.1.1.529) – New COVID Variant as ‘Variant of Concern’

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant.

Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern
Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

A new variant of Covid, B.1.1.529, first detected in South Africa, has been labelled as the ‘variant of concern’ by WHO. This new variant which is now named, Omicron, is said to be highly transmissible.

WHO observed, “This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of infection with this variant”.

The new variant is spreading fast, with cases detected in various South African nations except for Israel and Belgium.

It is said that the variants like alpha, beta, delta and, Omicron have more serious repercussions as vaccines become less effective as they had been designed to counter the effects of the original COVID 19 strain.

Health officials in the UK said that B.1.1.529 has more than 30 mutations that the virus uses to reach into the human cells. This number is double the delta variant, making it dangerous than the original coronavirus.

The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE)
is conducting research and studies to evaluate the variant, and important findings will be let out by the WHO eventually.

Several counties have started to take precautionary measures. Germany, France, Itlay, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Israel have imposed a ban on travel from certain regions in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

There has been a constant reminder to individuals to follow safety measures. Indians are instructed to take proper measures and regulate international travelling.

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Written by Antara

From a mass communications background, I'm a fervent reader who often tries hands-on with writing. Films and music are my escape from reality, with a dream to make it big someday.

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