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Updated on: Monday, December 13, 2021, 07:17 PM IST

Omicron scare: Check out full list of countries that reported the new COVID-19 variant

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: A pedestrian walks past cars lined up at a drive-through COVID-19 testing center on December 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. New requirements began today for inbound U.S. travelers to provide documentation of a negative Covid test result one day before departure in response to the omicron variant.  | Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: A pedestrian walks past cars lined up at a drive-through COVID-19 testing center on December 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. New requirements began today for inbound U.S. travelers to provide documentation of a negative Covid test result one day before departure in response to the omicron variant. | Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP

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As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the new Omicron coronavirus strain has been found in 63 countries and said that it will surpass Delta in spreading speed.

Soon after the World Health Organisation declared Omicron as a ‘Variant of Concern’, several countries imposed travel bans against South Africa. Amid the new variant’s fear, countries began stepping up testing, vaccinations and restrictions.

Early data has suggested the new variant, first detected in South Africa, produces only mild symptoms of runny nose, fatigue, headache and sore throat but UK experts have said it could still result in a big rise in hospital admissions due to its sheer rate of transmissibility.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has predicted that the Omicron variant could become the dominant variant in Europe within months. For now, though, the Delta variant continues to dominate cases, and more data is needed to determine Omicron’s infectiousness and severity, WHO says.

Of 899,935 Covid-19 test samples sequenced and uploaded to the global Covid database in the last 60 days, 897,886 (99.8%) were confirmed to be Delta, while 713 (0.1%) were Omicron.

However, in a major breakthrough, United Kingdom which is witnessing a massive spike in Covid-19 cases has reported its first death due to the Omicron variant.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today confirmed the UK's first death from the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the first known fatality from the highly transmissible variant of COVID-19 in the world.

No other country other than UK has reported death due to Omicron variant so far.

Johnson used the case to highlight the importance of not being complacent that the new variant is milder compared to the currently dominant Delta variant and urged people to get their top-up booster vaccine doses, now being offered to all adults aged 18 and over.

According to the UK government, currently 10 people are in hospital in England with the Omicron variant, which recorded another jump of 1,239 new cases over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the caseload of the Omicron Covid-19 variant is rising each day in India. On Sunday, the tally rose to 38 after Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh and Kerala reported their first infections and Maharashtra and Karnataka also recorded one each of the latest coronavirus variants.

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Published on: Monday, December 13, 2021, 07:17 PM IST
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