Is Omicron more deadly than other strains of Covid?
The World Health Organization says it’s still not clear whether Omicron is more transmissible compared to other variants, including the dominant strain Delta.
The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus has increased in parts of South Africa affected by the variant, and studies have started to determine whether this is due to the fact that it is more easily transmitted.
It is also unclear whether Omicron is likely to cause more death or serious illness, and understand that it will likely take several more weeks, the WHO said.
The deputy chief medical officer for England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said scientists around the world agree that the Omicron variant is “of growing concern”.
He said there are still uncertainties about the transmissibility of the variant and its impact on the severity of the disease.
He declared that “the number of mutations present, already on the first principle, makes us fear a possible effect on the effectiveness of the vaccine”.
He clarified that there is “a lot more we don’t know yet than things we know” about the variant, but that he expects more to become clear in two weeks.