Following the first case of coronavirus was confirmed, countries saw an increasing spate of COVID-19 particularly in the past year.
In recent times, though there has been a significant reduction in surging cases with vaccination in most countries, some different variants of the virus have emerged.
Variants including the Delta variant emerged with their own characteristics, necessitating research and possible solutions.
A new heavily mutated version of the SARS-CoV 2 has been found as the latest variant of the virus. The variant which is known as the Omicron variant was firstly confirmed in South Africa.
The World Health Organisation has said that “It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta. Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of a specific infection with Omicron. “
Given possible symptoms of the new variant, WHO further stated that “there is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants. Initially reported infections were among university students—younger individuals who tend to have the more mild disease—but understanding the level of severity of the Omicron variant will take days to several weeks.”
The World Health Organisation(WHO) listed the Omicron variant as a ‘variant of concern’ saying it could take several weeks to know if there are significant changes in transmissibility, severity or implications for Covid vaccines, tests, and treatments.
Several countries have since banned travels to and from South Africa and its neighboring countries to prevent the further spread of the Omicron variant.
The health department of Australia detected Omicron variant in two travelers from Southern Africa in who had come to Australia.
According to an Italian news agency, LaPresse, an Italian who traveled to Mozambique tested positive for the omicron variant with five family members, including two school-aged children, also testing positive.
On November 24, 2021, two travelers from South Africa to Germany tested positive for the Omicron variant.
61 persons have tested positive for coronavirus after traveling from South Africa to the Netherlands. The Dutch health authorities believe some of the cases could be the new variant.
Joining countries that have so far recorded cases of the Omicron, is Britain, where two cases were recorded. According to British Health Minister, both cases were linked to travels from South Africa.
A person who had traveled from Malawi to Israel was reported to have tested positive for the new variant on November 26, the country since then has imposed a series of emergency measures to control the further spread of the virus.
Aside from these countries, Belgium, Botswana, and Switzerland have also confirmed a number of cases.
However, in North America, Canada recorded the first cases of the Omicron variant during the early hours of November 29, among two travelers from Nigeria which is by far the closest country to Ghana.
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