Number of Omicron cases rises to 62,419.
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The new coronavirus variant Omicro which was first identified in South Africa has continued its spread around the world. The total number of cases caused by the Omicron strain has increased by 16,715 in just a day to 62,419 forcing many countries to impose restrictions.
The new variant named the B.1.1.529 Omicron
was classified as a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) back on November 26th, 2021. It was first reported in South Africa on November 14, 2021 and in Botswana on November 11th, 2021.
So far, we know that the Omicron strain spread much faster than the other strains. A etudy conducted by a research team from Hobg Kong University revealed the Omicron variant infects and multiplies 70 times faster than the delta strain in human bronchus. It is not yet known whether it causes more severe illness than other strains. More data is needed to determine the severity. Vaccines will work against the Omicron variant and is expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.
There are still limited data on the clinical severity of omicron. More data are needed to understand the severity profile and how severity is impacted by vaccination and pre-existing immunity.World Health Organization
There are 89 countries that have confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant. According to WHO, this new strain is also spreading fast in highly immunized countries. The rapid rise of hospitalizations in the United Kingdom and South Africa is putting pressure on the healthcare system, and there is a risk that it will be quickly overwhelmed.
More details to follow.