Update on Omicron
On 26 November 2021, suggested by Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE), WHO has designated the variant B.1.1.529, namely Omicron, a variant of concern. This decision and the current findings on Omicron shows, it has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves (WHO).
The Current Most Dominant Variant
While most of the mutations in the Spike region of B.1.1.529 were similar to that in the Delta vatiant, some were unique which raised serious concerns about the transmissibiliuty of this variant. In fact, the B1.1.529 is now the most dominant variant identified in the patients with COVID-19 in other Southern Afriacn countries... (Sohail & Singh, 2021).
Figure 1: Modeling of Spread of COVID-19 Cases in South Africa from Infection with B1.1.529 Variant of SARS-CoV-2 Using S-gene Target Failure Data
*Source: Financial Times analysis of data from Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) and the South African National Health Labortary Service.
World Health Organization. (n.d.). Classification of omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-COV-2 variant of concern. World Health Organization. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news/item/26-11-2021-classification-of-omicron-(b.1.1.529)-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern.
- Rao, S., & Singh, M. (n.d.). The newly detected B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of SARS-COV-2 with multiple mutations: Implications for transmission, Diagnostics, therapeutics, and immune evasion. DHR Proceedings. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://dhrproceedings.org/index.php/DHRP/article/view/35.