Omicron: Trouble looms in Africa as WHO names new COVID strain

Omicron: Trouble looms in Africa as WHO names new COVID strain

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named the new COVID-19 strain as ‘Omicron’ and classified it as a variant of concern.

On Thursday, South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced the discovery of the new variant, B.1.1.529, and said 22 positive cases of the strain had so far been detected in the country.

According to the WHO’s statement, the technical advisory group on SARS-CoV-2 virus evolution (TAG-VE), an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of COVID-19, convened on Friday to assess the new variant.

“The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021,” the statement reads.

Source: Legit.ng

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