Omicron variant: New variant seems to be fast replacing Delta – how worried should we be?
Omicron variant: Doctor warns of risk of reinfection
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This includes mandatory mask wearing in shops and on public transport and mandatory PCR tests for travellers returning from abroad.
Other nations have been firmer with Omicron.
European nations such as Germany and Austria have brought in restrictions on the unvaccinated.
Japan, Israel and Morocco have gone further, imposing bans on all foreign travellers entering their borders.
But back in South Africa, Omicron is starting to take its toll, but not on the South African population, but on Delta, the previous dominant variant.
Scientists in South Africa say that Omicron is replacing Delta as the dominant variant in the country.
While this might seem like bad news, in fact it is strangely enough good news.
The reason for this is that, even though Omicron is more contagious than Delta, it results in less severe illness and is less deadly than Delta is.
As a result, the scientists there are beginning to propose someting rather extraordinary.
They are suggesting that countries should let Omicron spread so that it replaces the Delta variant.
The suggestion is that we should replace one very dangerous virus for another less dangerous virus.
This news comes as the displacement of Delta by Omicron is already in full swing.
This hasn’t been a deliberate strategy by South Africa, it’s just happened because Omicron is much more transmissible.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Omicron has a “growth advantage” in comparison to Delta.
Furthermore, virologist Marc van Ranst has said that if it is the case that Omicron is more transmissible but less deadly and results in less severe illness, then it could be a, “storm in a teacup”.
This new information will make the United Kingdom’s position that much harder, particularly as we approach Christmas.
The Omicron variant has created a lot of worry and tension for businesses and the population alike.
Businesses have cancelled Christmas gatherings for fear of spreading the virus whilst major organisations have postponed events they were due to have this month until next year.
This news will form just another part of the decision-making process the government will be going through.
Boris Johnson is set to decide on Christmas affecting restrictions on the 18th December.
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