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COVID's Omicron version has crossed the Indian border; what should you do now?
27 Jan' 21

COVID's Omicron version has crossed the Indian border; what should you do now?

 

 

Is the new Omicron variety a cause for concern?  

We've all seen the destruction caused by the second coronavirus epidemic. Many people were sick, some died, but the vast majority of people survived the disaster and recovered. 

Now, the new COVID variation, Omicron, has invaded India's borders, having been identified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. Two instances have been discovered in Karnataka, causing turmoil and terror throughout the country. 

  

We're preparing for the worst.  

"The confirmation of Omicron Variant of Concern today by India, the first two instances in WHO South-East Asia Region, was not unexpected given the interconnected world that we live in," said Regional Director for the WHO South-East Asia Region, Dr.Poonam Khetarpal Singh This underscores the need for all countries to increase surveillance, be on high alert, discover any virus importation quickly, and take actions to prevent the virus from spreading further."  

  

"All variations, including Omicron, have the same reaction measures as SARs CoV2." Governments must take comprehensive and targeted public health and social measures, and individuals must strictly adhere to preventive and precautionary measures," she adds. 

 

Read More How long will the COVID-19 vaccines provide protection?

  

Will the COVID Omicron variation be more severe than the others?  

  

The novel COVID strain is claimed to have over 30 changes in the spike protein, making it unique among coronavirus strains. The variant's capacity to avoid vaccine-induced immunity and display a higher transmissibility rate has been suggested by experts.

According to recent studies, 373 examples of the Omicron variety have been discovered in 29 countries, including two in India.  

  

According to the Ministry of Health, the new variation could be 500 times more contagious than earlier strains of concern. However, all of the cases that have been documented so far are thought to be minor.  

  

"Viruses have been known to mutate to survive," says Dr. Vishwanath Bellad, a pulmonologist at BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital. This is true for all microbes. Due to these alterations, there might be small modifications in its symptoms and response to treatment." 

 

Read More New COVID variant detected in South Africa: Heres what you should be knowing about it

  

What is the difference between it and the Delta variant?  

"Based on the information given indicative of a harmful change in Covid-19 epidemiology... The WHO has identified B.1.1.529 as a variation of concern (VOC), called Omicron," the WHO stated in a statement. "If another significant Covid-19 rise is triggered by Omicron, the effects could be grave," it added.  

  

The new variety has more changes in the spike protein than the Delta variant that caused India's second COVID wave, making it significantly more developed and likely more transmissible. Even though no deaths have been connected to the new Omicron variety, a debate about whether it is more severe than the Delta strain continues. 

  

Will existing vaccines protect against the Omicron variant in humans?  

Given a large number of mutations in the Omicron form, there have been worries about its ability to circumvent vaccine protection.

While no COVID vaccine provides 100 percent protection, and breakthrough infections have been documented in the past, Dr. Bellad believes that existing vaccines would be useful in reducing the severity of illness, even if the virus's structure changed somewhat. 

 

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