Omicron: New SARS COVID Variant

On November 26, 2021, the TAG-VE (Technical Advisory Organization on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution) analyze the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529. TAG-VE has recommended that this variant is recognized as VOC (Variant of Concern) and WHO has named “B.1.1.529” variant as “Omicron.” The new strain was found in South Africa and has already spread across many countries. People are concerned that the new strain may be more resistant to vaccination protection and is raising fears of pandemics. The new B 1.1.529 variation appears to spread faster than the prevalent Delta type. In South Africa, the Delta variation had already wreaked havoc.

How “Omicron” the New Covid-19 Variant is Named?

To prevent public confusion and stigma, the World Health Organization has begun identifying the mutations after Greek letters. According to the WHO report, there are now seven "variants of concern," with a Greek letter. In contrast to the scientific names of the variants, which may be difficult to say and retain.

What are the mutations that characterize this variant?

According to the NGS-SA, the new variety B.1.1.529 exhibits "very strange constellations of mutations" in the spike protein, which is vital for the virus's entry into human cells. According to the study, several of the changes are well-recognized and have a known phenotypic impact on transmissibility and immune evasion. In Alpha and Delta forms, some of these mutations have already been discovered. However, according to the NGS-SA, many additional mutations were "rarely detected till recently and not adequately described." Various research are being conducted to evaluate the influence of these alterations on the virus's ability to spread more efficiently, affect vaccination effectiveness and dodge immune response, and produce more severe or milder disease.

Virus CoronaVirus
Variant Omicron (B.1.1.529)
Variant Type Variant Of Concern
Detected South Africa (24th November 2021)

Symptoms of Omicron in India

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Mild muscle aches
  • Scratchy throat and dry cough
  • High fever
  • Fatigue
  • Low oxygen level
  • Loss of smell and taste

Preventions to Protect Against New Variant

  • Social Distancing (Maintaining atleast 1m of distance)
  • Wear Mask
  • Open windows for poor ventilation
  • Avoid poor ventilation and crowded spaces
  • Wash and sanitize your hand regularly
  • Cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or use tissue
  • Get vaccinated

Can Omicron be Transmitted Easily?

The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 has increased in South Africa and the rate of hospitalisation among COVID-19 patients is increasing. There is no evidence that Omicron infection can create a need for a higher risk of hospitalisation.

Coronavirus Vaccinations & Coronavirus Active Cases in India

WHO has cautioned that the Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2 poses a very high worldwide danger based on early findings, which has sparked further panic. The World Health Organization has also warned that the variation could result in an increase in instances with serious consequences. As scientists and health authorities race to obtain more data, a growing number of countries, like South Africa and Bostwana, have begun to restrict international travel for countries with this variant.

Difference between Coronavirus and Omicron

Coronavirus Omicron
Coronavirus is an infectious disease that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2). Omicron is a new variant that causes COVID-19. It is a Variant of Concern (VOC)
Symptoms of Coronavirus:
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Constant pain in the chest
  • Fever (>38°C)
  • Fatigue
  • Dry Cough
Symptoms of Omicron:
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Mild muscle aches
  • Scratchy throat and dry cough
  • High fever
  • Fatigue

Do covid 19 vaccines can control omicorn ?

WHO is working with scientists to see the impact of the variants on existing treatments, including vaccines. Vaccinations are still crucial in decreasing severe disease and death. The vaccinations that are used today are still effective in preventing serious illness and mortality rates.

Effects of Omicron in India

In India, the Union Health Ministry has amended international travel recommendations due to the rise in New Covid variant "Omicron" cases in various countries. Regardless of their vaccination status, all travellers arriving from countries classified as “at-risk” will be required to undergo an obligatory COVID-19 test at the airport. In addition, RT-PCR test is a must 72 hours prior to departure. In addition, airports would be required to conduct random COVID-19 testing on 5% of passengers arriving from countries that are not classed as “at risk.”

WHO is presently collaborating with a large number of international researchers to better understand Omicron. Assessments of transmissibility, the severity of infection (including symptoms), the performance of vaccinations and diagnostic tests, and the efficiency of therapies are all currently underway.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will there be new COVID-19 variants?

Mutations will persist as long as the coronavirus will spread across every country, and the variant family will continue to evolve.

2. Which countries is the new COVID variant in?

The new COVID variant was detected in Botswana. There’s a high alert after cases were detected in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Belgium.

3. Who named the Covid variants?

For avoiding all the confusion, the World Health Organization has identified the mutations after Greek letters.