Omicron: Highly mutated variant found in 57 countries
New Delhi, Feb 02: The World Health Organisation said that a highly contagious Omicron strain has been detected in 57 countries. This strain is more infectious than the original version, the WHO also said.
This fast spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19 has rapidly become dominant since it was first detected in Southern Africa 10 weeks back. WHOsaid that the variant which accounts for over 93 per cent of all the COVID-19 specimens collected in the past month counts several sub-lineage ie BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2 and BA.3.
The BA.1 and BA.1.1 still account for 96 per cent all the Omicron sequences. However there has been a rise in cases involving BA.2, WHO said. "BA.2- designated sequences have been submitted to GISAID from 57 countries to date," the health body also said.
"We need people to be aware that this virus is continuing to circulate and its continuing to evolve. It's really important that we take measures to reduce our exposure to this virus, whichever variant is circulating" Maria Van Kerkhove, one of the WHO's top experts on COVID-19 told reporters.