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What is Omicron?

Omicron

About Omicron

What is Omicron?

The Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), a new variant of the coronavirus, was first reported in Botswana on November 11, 2021, and appeared on November 14 in South Africa. Omicron has spread to various countries in Europe, including Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the UK, in Australia and Canada, among others.
 
Following the emergence of the new Covid-19 variant 'Omicron', which has led to travel bans and new restrictions in many countries across the world, countries have sprung into action to ensure early detection and precaution. Besides stringent scrutiny at all major airports, several measures are being put in place.

The countries designated as 'at-risk' (as of November 26, 2021) include European countries, the UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel.
 

What WHO says

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the new Covid variant as the 'Variant of Concern' (VOC). It is said that this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of re-infection with this variant, compared to other VOCs.
 

Symptoms of Omicron

The WHO confirmed that there is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants, as understanding the level of severity of the Omicron variant will take days to several weeks.
 
According to WHO, a VOC, with a degree of global public health significance demonstrates one or more mutational changes such as an increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in Covid-19 epidemiology, increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation, and decrease in the effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
 
WHO has urged countries to enhance surveillance and sequencing on circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, submit complete genome sequences and metadata to a publicly available database, and report initial VOC cases or clusters to the organisation.
 
It has also recommended field investigations and laboratory assessments to better understand the potential impacts of the VOC on Covid-19 epidemiology, the effectiveness of public health and social measures and antibody neutralisation.

Latest Updates on Omicron

Covid vaccine makers gear up to launch new-generation jabs in India

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JN.1 becomes dominant strain in most parts of India, shows Insacog data

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Does Covid prefer gut now? Virus detection in wastewater prompts debate

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Children infected with Omicron variant remain infectious for 3 days: Study

3 min read Last Updated :Oct 24 2023 | 3:00 PM IST
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'Maharashtra recorded new Omicron sub-variant in May, but nothing to worry'

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New Omicron sub-variant spreads in UK; no reported case in India so far

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Over 1,300 samples of Omicron sub-variant XBB2.3 found in India: INSACOG

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XBB.1.16 Covid variant no cause for concern: Maharashtra heath minister

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Haryana reports 1,348 new Covid-19 cases, active tally reaches 5,468

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Delhi records six Covid deaths, 1,757 new cases; positivity rate 28.63%

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Delhi sees 1,017 Covid cases, four deaths; positivity rate soars to 32.25%

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Haryana records 898 new Covid cases, one death; active tally at 4,339

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India reports 10,093 Covid-19 cases, 23 deaths; active tally at 57,542

1 min read Last Updated :Apr 16 2023 | 11:55 AM IST
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Covid's endemic challenges

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No indications variant XBB.1.16 leading to infection among kids: Bhardwaj

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Hospitals conduct Covid mock drills as positivity rate nears 7%

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Antibody that blocks Omicron, other Covid variants identified by scientists

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New variant of Covid-19's Omicron detected in Nepal: Health Ministry

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40% jump in cases in a day: Will a fresh wave of Covid-19 hit India?

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PM holds Covid meeting amid renewed concerns, says 'pandemic far from over'

3 min read Last Updated :Mar 22 2023 | 10:58 PM IST
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