Director of UCD’s National Virus Reference Laboratory and NPHET member Dr. Cillian De Gascun has stated that there is a “reason to be concerned” about the new Covid-19 variant Omicron.
He added that there are a lot of unknowns about the new variant and that it could take two to three weeks for the publication of “hard scientific evidence” on Omicron, which the WHO has classified as a variant of concern.
De Gascun also stressed the importance of countries sharing data on new variants to prevent widespread transmission.
He said that South African authorities should receive recognition for sharing information on Omicron at the early stages of the variant.
Stating that the variant is considerably “more divergent than any other variants” to date with more amino acids changes across the genome than in other variants.
“Because it is so far removed from the original virus there could be more infections and have an impact on those who have been vaccinated.”
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