On 26 November 2021, the Omicron variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa. This variant seems to be spreading quickly across South Africa. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of the B.1.1.529 variant.
World Trade Organization (WTO) says it has postponed its in-person ministerial conference in Geneva over concerns regarding "an outbreak of a particularly transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus"
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2021
Scientists are trying to understand the effects of this variant such as whether it can evade immune responses triggered by vaccines. Moreover, whether it causes more or less severe disease than other variants do. A maximum number of countries have decided to not enter southern Africa and to ban and restrict travel.
At this stage, it is too early to say anything about the situation. A virologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa said, “We’re flying at warp speed.”
“There’s a lot we don’t understand about this variant.” Richard Lessells, an infectious-diseases physician at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa give his views in a press conference related to the issue. Further, he stated, “The mutation profile gives us concern, but now we need to do the work to understand the significance of this variant and what it means for the response to the pandemic.”
Omicron is most concerning since the delta variant. Us officials have said they have banned flights to South Africa to avoid the transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus. Firstly it is detected in South Africa and now people are stunned as now again this will repeat the history.
This virus is dangerous and it is costing people’s life as no one knows how to overcome this situation but everyone is trying to keep them safe.