How Did the Omicron Variant Develop?
Published On Dec 15, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic is far from over and the omicron variant is the biggest reminder of it. The latest in a series of variants, the omicron is causing concern worldwide. Due to it being detected only a few days back, there is still limited knowledge on it which is why scientists are asking everyone to remain alert to new developments. Based on what we know, here is more about the omicron variant.
What is the Omicron Variant?
About a week or so back, scientists in South Africa discovered a new variant of the coronavirus, the omicron variant. Soon, the world was alerted to this new presence. Nations across the world soon grew wary of infections from the new variant as South Africa has already seen a rise in cases, especially in young people. However, there are still incomplete conclusions when it comes to the variant. Whether the rise in infections can be entirely owed to the new variant is still under investigation as there can be several other environmental and regional factors involved. It has also been found that this variant might have originally originated in Europe, which was already grappling with a surge in cases due to the Delta variant, before it was detected in South Africa. Since the first detection, omicron cases have been detected in over 38 countries, mostly from travelers who have returned from abroad, particularly South Africa. In light of such developments, nations across the world have started traveling restrictions once again and asked their citizens to remain alert to the new variant.
How Did the Omicron Variant Develop?
According to UNICEF, the chances of a virus mutating increases when there is widespread circulation of the virus. It is such a mutation that has caused the devenlopment of the omicron. Over the last almost two years of the pandemic, there have been several mutations that have caused alarm. Although the verdict is still out on this variant, it is largely believed to be causing less severe infection than some of the other variants like the Delta variant. However, these variants are a reminder that the pandemic is far from over. Even if a certain level of immunity has been built among the world population, they may be evaded by new mutations. The WHO has also stated that simply relying on traveling restrictions will not help, as COVID regulations like social distancing and wearing masks remain of the utmost importance.
Of all, vaccination is the most important preventative measure that is currently present. All nations must work rapidly to vaccinate their populations. The WHO has stated that for now, the existing and registered vaccines will work against the omicron variant. That is why it is crucial that citizens of all nations get vaccinated as soon as possible.
In India too, the omicron variant has been detected in more than 20 patients from five different states for now. The vaccines that are being administered in India are available both at government facilities and at private institutions. With the ease of availability now increased, it is crucial that everyone stay vaccinated to avoid infection. The vaccine has been seen to reduce the severity of infection and reduce the chances of death from the coronavirus. Therefore, even if it does not completely dismiss the possibility of COVID, it helps in other important ways. To tackle the new variant for now, due diligence is required on all fronts.
Also Read: How Did the Omicron Variant Develop
Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.