Is Omicron Variant a Cause of Concern?
Published On Dec 22, 2021 10:00 AM By InsuranceDekho
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The coronavirus had caused the global pandemic almost two years back and since then, it has undergone multiple mutations and given rise to various variants. Each variant has given rise to concerns regarding how bad it might be from its predecessor in terms of transmissibility, rise in infections and such. The omicron variant has only been recently detected and rigorous studies to analyze its nature are already underway.
Current Facts on the Omicron Variant
The omicron variant of the coronavirus was recently detected in South Africa. Once other nations were alerted to it, it was only a short time before cases began to pop up in other nations as well. It has also been observed that the variant might have originated in Europe before it was detected in South Africa. The reason for the emergence of this new variant is perhaps due to the increased chances of a virus mutating when there is an increased and widespread circulation of it. As expected, people were quick to take notice of this new variant which is being closely observed by scientists for developments. The omicron variant has already spread to over 60 countries across the globe and in India, there have been over 41 cases. Due to the rapid rate of transmissibility which has been seen with this variant, people are being asked to be diligent with COVID protocols and other safety measures. In India, most people who have been detected are foreigners or Indians who have recently returned after being abroad and people who have come in contact with them. However, since this variant is an extremely fast spreading one, everyone needs to be alert to it.
Is Omicron Variant a Cause of Concern?
According to ongoing studies, the omicron variant can be up to 4.2 times more infectious than the Delta variant, which is another dominant coronavirus variant that is causing infections currently. With the UK reporting the first case of death due to the omicron variant, it has become even more important to take concern regarding the omicron variant. Although it has caused mild infection till now, there is insufficient data to establish on how severe of an infection the variant can cause. The rapid rate of transmissibility of the coronavirus is the most concerning right now. Within only a few days of detection, it has spread like wildfire across the globe. It has already led to a surge in cases in South Africa, especially among young people, even though it has not yet been found whether the surge can be exclusively attributed to the omicron variant. Although initially, there were no reports of death from it and symptoms generally seemed to be mild, the death of the COVID patient in the UK is extremely concerning. Since most people who have been detected with this variant are travelers, travel restrictions have once again been placed for most nations. However, WHO has stated that citizens must not rely only on such restrictions for their safety.
Nevertheless, this is certainly not a time for panic, but one that needs alertness and diligence. WHO has stated that current studies have suggested that the omicron reduces vaccine efficacy but causes less severe syndromes, for now. However, it is still crucial to get vaccinated because the vaccines have been seen to reduce the chances of death and severity of infection. What remains most crucial are COVID regulations, especially that of wearing masks, avoiding crowds, applying sanitizers and such.
Vaccination Key to Battling Omicron: WHO
Status of Omicron Variant in India
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.