So far, we have learnt that COVID-19 can mutate. Hence, it is not surprising that a new variant has been detected. Perhaps, many more variants already exist. Moreover, the world should expect many more to come. Regardless, they are some striking similarities between the two COVID-19 variants of concern Omicron-B.1.1.529 and Delta-B.1.617.2
Let find out what those similarities and how they can help the world prepare more.
5 things to learn about new variants
a. They are both originated from country with low vaccination rates
These countries currently have less than 70% of its population vaccinated against COVID-19, significantly lower than most the world richest countries. Indeed, according to our World In Data, India, where the Delta variant was first reported has a vaccination rate of 44.3%. In addition, South Africa where the first case of Omicron was detected has a vaccination rate of only 26%.
b. Poor countries
Maybe, it is not a valid point. Yet, we can acknowledge that the variants were discovered in underdeveloped countries. Probably, heavily impacted by the devastating impact of COVID-19. Even though, we can celebrate a prompt and timely detection of the variants.
c. Inequality in Vaccination rate around the world
While some countries have done extremely well in term of vaccination such as The United States where more than 60% of the entire population is vaccinated. The rest of the world mostly underdeveloped countries needs more progress. Consequently, posing equal level threats in an interconnected world.
The new variant Omicron is already cause tremendous infection rate not seen since a year. Many hospitals are already over stretch across the country. Notably, after the holiday season.
Even though, the rate of severe hospitalization and death are still relatively low till date.
In an already challenging environment the world is comtempenting going back into luckdowns. Some countries in Europe and Asia have already started with localized lockdown. Just when, we though, those painful moments were over.
What to watch:
a. The impact of new variant “IHU-B.1.640.2” Méditerranée Infection University Hospital Institute (IHU) in Marseilles, France, was the first to report the variant in a pre-print uploaded to MedRxiv on December 29
b. Could the alarming infection rate translates into a public health disaster such as an explosion of death?
c. The vaccination rate of underdeveloped countries
d. Enforcement of covid-19 restrictions