Melbourne – After the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a variant of concern for SARS-CoV-2 as Omicron, three countries have so far reportedly detected the new COVID-19 strain in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia.
The Omicron was first reported from South Africa on 24 November, and the virus has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning, according to the statement of WHO.
Omnicron has emerged amidst many countries in Europe are battling a surge in COVID-19 infection, while Australia is set to reopen borders for international travellers after shutting its borders for nearly 600 days.
“Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (ie, people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron), as compared to other variants of concern, but information is limited. More information on this will become available in the coming days and weeks,” WHO said.
WHO is yet to confirm whether the current vaccines are effective against the new variant in coming days or weeks as studies on the matter are underway.