New Delhi: The new variant of the Covid-19 virus found in South Africa has raised concerns all over the world. Because of this new coronavirus variant, the number of cases in South Africa has increased by more than 200 per cent over the last week.
This new Covid-19 variant is said to be even more dangerous than the Delta variant. Given the threat of the new Covid-19 variant, many countries have banned travelers from South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) has placed this variant in the category of 'Variant of Concern'.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday called on countries in the Southeast Asia region to increase vigilance and strengthen public health services and social measures in the wake of new outbreaks of coronavirus infection and rising Covid-19 cases.
The WHO has said that all precautionary measures should be taken during festivals and has warned against public celebrations and crowded places.
"We must remain vigilant at any cost," WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia Poonam Khetrapal Singh told the media.
2 South Africa citizens in India infected with Delta variant
Meanwhile, two citizens of South Africa were found to be infected with the Delta variant of coronavirus at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport. However, it has not yet been confirmed whether they have been infected with the new Covid-19 variant Omicron.
Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Rural Srinivasa has said that the samples of the two visitors from South Africa have been sent for further investigation and the report will be available in 48 hours. Only then will it be known whether they have been infected with the Omicron variant or not. Until then, they have been kept in a quarantine center.
However, news agency ANI quoted Srinivasa as saying late on Saturday night that both visitors from South Africa have been confirmed to be infected with the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.
New Covid-19 variant has been named Omicron
Due to the seriousness of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, countries like the US, Brazil, Canada, European Union, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bahrain have canceled flights from African countries and Hong Kong.
All foreign nationals have been barred from entering Israel. On the other hand, PCR test is mandatory for visitors to the UK.
Omicron has been found in these countries so far
A few days after being discovered in South Africa, the new Covid-19 variant has reached several countries. These include Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong, UK, Israel, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany and Netherlands.
Scientists trying to decode Omicron
Scientists around the world are engaged in decoding the new Covid-19 variant Omicron. Tests are being conducted in labs in Europe, the US and Africa to understand how this variant affects vaccinated people.