A foreigner walks inside Bangkok’s International Suvarnabhumi Airport as Thailand bans entry from eight African countries due to the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus on November 29 (Photo: Reuters)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on member states to start testing widely for the new omicron variant, saying its divergent design could fuel future surges of Covid-19 with severe consequences.
The omicron variant, first sequenced in South Africa, has been identified in at least 12 other countries. Most have so far reported imported cases spotted in travellers from the African nation and other places. Still, the spread shows the difficulties of curtailing new strains of Covid-19.
The mutations may allow the variant to escape protection from vaccination or previous infection, and could give it a transmission advantage, the global health organization said in a technical briefing document for its members.
First Published: Nov 29 2021 | 11:22 PM IST