The Omikron coronavirus variant has already been detected in 57 countries around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. Cases of the new mutation were diagnosed, among others, in the Czech Republic and Germany – according to the GISAID database, which is referred to by WHO, which collects data on the SARS-CoV-2 genome.
The same day, the main health agency of the United Nations also reported on the growing number of new cases of Covid-19 in southern Africa, including in Zimbabwe.
WHO said in a weekly report released on Wednesday that more data on Omicron is still needed to accurately assess the risk of this variant and whether its mutations reduce immunity acquired through vaccination.
Even if the level of risk (the new variant) is the same or lower than Delta, the number of hospitalizations should be expected to increase along with the increase in infections (…) – wrote in the report.
Omikron is the fifth variant of SARS-CoV-2 identified as a variant of concern (VOC) by WHO. The other four are: Alpha (first detected in UK), Beta (first detected in South Africa), Gamma (first detected in Brazil) and Delta (first detected in India). ‘
Several countries decided to apply the “covid brake” with the arrival of the new Omikron variant. Discovered for the first time in Botswana, the variant has been described as “worrying” by the World Health Organization.
The variant spreads very quickly. Some scientists speculate that the mutation may have developed in a patient who had HIV and thus lowered immunity. In Botswana, about 20 percent. residents are HIV positive, the situation is also difficult in some regions of South Africa, incl. in Gauteng, where the Omikron variant is now raging.
Scientists are worried about the multitude of mutations. A total of 50 were detected, 30 of which were in the spine on the surface of the pathogen. Covid-19 vaccines target this spike, and the virus itself uses it to penetrate into human cells.