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4 Facts about the Omicron Variant of Covid-19, Contagious Faster Than Delta!


 The COVID-19 pandemic doesn't seem to be over. Now, a worrying new variant has emerged, the Omicron. This new variant of COVID-19 was first discovered in Botswana, South Africa, until now it has spread to various countries, one of which is Hong Kong.

Here are 4 facts about the new variant of Omicron COVID-19 that you must know:


1. List of Countries Discovering Cases of New Omicron Variants


The new variant of COVID-19, named Omicron, first appeared in Botswana, a region neighboring South Africa. These cases are reported from people who have been vaccinated.


Omicron has also been found in Hong Kong, infecting a patient who returned from Africa. Towards a few days, guests staying at one of the hotels in Hong Kong also tested positive for COVID-19 with this latest variant, B.1.1.529.


In addition to Hong Kong, the New York Times also reported that in South Africa alone, 22 positive cases had previously been identified. However, South Africa's Health Minister Joe Phaahla said nearly 100 cases linked to the new variant could be found in South Africa so far.


Since then, Israel and Belgium have recorded their first cases as well. The patient in Belgium who was found to be positive turned out to have just returned from Egypt, while the patient in Israel traveled from Malawi.


2. Proven to Increase Risk of Re-infection


WHO states that the increased risk of reinfection with this variant is greater than that of other variants. They also emphasized that the number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa.


The approach to detecting Omicron variants has also been updated, as previous approaches to PCR assays failed to detect any of the three new viral target genes.



3. Double the number of mutations than the Delta variant


The variant, known as B.1.1.529, is said to have a different spike protein from the usual coronavirus, which is the basis of the COVID-19 vaccine. The British Health Safety Agency also categorizes the variant as a variant that has twice the number of mutations compared to delta


4. It is feared that vaccine resistance will occur and the virus spreads faster


Professor Tjandra Yoga Aditama, as a former WHO official, said that Omicron could have >30 mutations. Which means, they have more mutations than the delta variant, which currently predominates.


The man who is also an expert on lung disease also emphasized that there would be an impact of transmission.


"So far what is suspected, there will be at least an impact of transmission. It is not yet clear whether there will be an impact on 4 other things, namely the severity of the disease, diagnosis by PCR & Antigen, reinfection, and vaccines."


Those are 4 facts about the new variant of Omicron COVID-19, which has spread to a number of other countries. Thus, the government has also prepared various efforts to prevent this latest variant from entering the country.

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