Omicron has now spread to 89 countries: WHO

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 19, 2021, 09:42 AM(IST)

Passengers wearing protective masks enter an underground railway station, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Stockholm, Sweden Photograph:( Reuters )

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The WHO further revealed that the variant has a doubling time of 1.5 to 3 days

As the Omicron variant continues to spread at a fast pace, the World Health Organisation announced that the variant is now in 89 countries in total. There is not much information on this newly discovered variant. Scientists are currently struggling to identify the symptoms of Omicron.

Elaborating on the variant, WHO said, “There are still limited data on the clinical severity of Omicron. More data are needed to understand the severity profile and how severity is impacted by vaccination and pre-existing immunity."

“There are still limited available data, and no peer-reviewed evidence, on vaccine efficacy or effectiveness to date for Omicron,” it added.

Also read | Omicron has doubling time of 1.5 to 3 days, will outpace Delta in community transmission: WHO

Recently, the chief executive of South Africa-based Discovery Health, Ryan Noach, said that the majority of patients all over the world have reported scratchy throat as an early symptom of the Omicron variant.

He further highlighted that even though these symptoms are mild at this point, it cannot be concluded if the variant is less severe or virulent.

The WHO further revealed that the variant has a doubling time of 1.5 to 3 days.

Identified as a variant of concern, it is likely that Omicron will outpace Delta where community transmission occurs.

In its ‘Enhancing Readiness for Omicron (B.1.1.529): Technical Brief and Priority Actions for Member States’ report, WHO said, "Omicron is spreading rapidly in countries with high levels of population immunity and it remains uncertain to what extent the observed rapid growth rate can be attributed to immune evasion, intrinsic increased transmissibility or a combination of both."

(With inputs from agencies)

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