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WHO Names New Coronavirus Variant Omicron, Classifies It As A "Variant Of Concern"

WHO Names New Coronavirus Variant Omicron, Classifies It As A

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus variant to be “of concern” and named it Omicron.

Initially named B.1.1.529, the new coronavirus variant was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

By Friday, several countries had banned travel from southern Africa, with the UK adding South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia to a so-called “red list”.

Scientists said B.1.1.529 had a large number of mutations and early evidence suggested it is highly transmissible and increased the risk of reinfection.

Viruses, by their nature, tend to change or mutate, over time and a variant becomes a variant of concern when that mutation might affect things like transmissibility, virulence or the effectiveness of vaccines.

On Friday, WHO noted that the number of the Omicron variant appeared to be increasing in almost all of South Africa’s provinces.

The WHO has said it will take several few weeks to understand the impact of the new variant, as scientists work to determine its transmissibility.

It has warned against countries rushing to impose travel restrictions, saying they should look to a “risk-based and scientific approach”.

However, the UK, EU countries and Switzerland have temporarily halted flights from some southern African countries, among them Zimbabwe which has not yet reported cases of the new variant.

South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla told reporters that there was no justification for imposing the flight bans.

More: BBC News

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vinso 5 months ago

Why is it every time they detect new variant they say it highly transmissible? Omicron what does it even mean?

Cobra King 5 months ago

Who is saying its of concern but someone is saying its not of concern so don't panic we are aret. Kkkkk

Miles 5 months ago

Let's stick to the basic prevention measures like washing our hands with soap and water, social distancing, putting on a mask at all times etc. We will get through this!!

Professor 5 months ago

Lets hope so

Do that 5 months ago

Ha ha ha ma1 Wangu

Ndidzo Nguruve dze 🐖 dziye Ere 🇿🇦🇿🇲🇿🇼🇹🇿


Nhamo 5 months ago

Varient after varient When will the circus end.

Inenharo 5 months ago

When they make 1 varient which can actually kill our black African asses


chembere 5 months ago


Shadows 5 months ago

Point iyoyo. We are nt bothered either. UK is not heaven. Let it be

Sergio 5 months ago

Mxm UK you are not our oxygen.Stop acting like we worship you. I dont remember using any Uk products even a single day. If it was china maybe i would understand.

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