“The New COVID Variant”

Irsa Malik

The new variant B.1.1.529, which the World Health Organization officially named “Omicron” was first discovered on November 11, 2021 in Botswana. Omicron has been classified by the World Health Organization as “highly transmissible variant” the same category that includes the Predominant “Delta variant”. The new mutation of virus was first detected in South Africa which is said to have an unprecedented number of spike mutations. In South Africa, the positivity rate increased tenfold from 0.9 percent to 9.77pc in just 12 days. The new variant had reached a number of European and Asian countries. According to initial reports, it is an extremely virulent virus. The variant has a large number of mutations. Thirty-two mutations affect the spike protein. The World Health Organization warns that health services could be overwhelmed especially in nations with low vaccination rates, and urges all nations to increase COVID vaccinations.The new variant has been spreading rapidly, which can put pressure on the health system. It has some mutations due to which the potential of transmissibility has increased. Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand Omicron virus. At present, the WHO is coordinating with a large number of researchers around the world to better understand the new strain. On November 27, Pakistan placed South Africa and six other countries in category”C” and imposed complete ban on travel. NCOC chair Asad Umar along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan held a press conference and said that the spread of Omicron is inevitable.But the threat in Pakistan can be reduced by taking measures such as Booster vaccines and contact tracing. Masks wearing should be encouraged. The Government should spread awareness. Fully vaccinated individuals are approximately nine times less likely to die if they do contract the virus. The threat from this new variant should not be taken lightly. The authorities should do everything they can to stop the spread of this rapidly transmissible virus. The government should reintroduce the effective measures they’ve taken in the earlier waves.

Similar Posts