Facts About Omicron

Facts About Omicron-What is the Omicron Variant?
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Facts About Omicron-What is the Omicron Variant?

It is not yet clear how threatening the new Omicron COVID-19 variant is, so what are the specific facts?

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization listed B.1.1.529 (commonly known as the Omicron variant) as a variant of concern.

At the time of writing, Scotland has recorded six cases and England has discovered three cases. The UK has restored a number of measures, including mandatory use of masks in public transport and shops, and mandatory PCR testing of all people entering the UK.

What does WHO know about Omicron?

At this stage, there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding omicron transmission, disease severity, and response to vaccination. But this is what we currently know:

Omicron has a large number of mutations, some of which may be related to immune escape potential and increased infectivity.

The current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnosis can detect Omicron variants

Most of the cases identified are related to travel, although this situation is expected to change.

The World Health Organization stated that even with the emergence of Omicron variants, the use of masks, maintaining social distancing, ventilating indoor spaces, avoiding crowds, and hand hygiene are still the keys to reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Facts About Omicron-What is the Omicron Variant?

The World Health Organization recommends that public health authorities step up their efforts to speed up vaccination coverage against COVID-19 among all eligible people, but give priority to people at risk of serious diseases who have not yet been vaccinated or have not been fully vaccinated.

What has changed in the UK?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently confirmed Britain’s new interim measures. Review after three weeks (from November 27, 2021)

  • All international immigrants will be tested by PCR on the next day and will be self-quarantined until the test result is negative.
  • Masks must be worn in shops and public transportation.
  • All suspected contacts of Omicron should self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. NHS Test and Trace will contact them.

Starting at 04:00 on Sunday, November 28, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola will be added to the UK tourism red list.

Do I need to change my workplace?

The official government workplace guidelines have not been updated, but any other workplace safety guidelines are available here.

As with other risk changes during the pandemic, companies that reopen their office space need to plan ahead to prevent Omicron incidents for their employees, especially among employees traveling domestically and internationally.

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