It was just a few days back that health experts in South Africa detected a new variant of Covid named Omicron. Medical experts believe that this new variant of Covid is very much different from the Delta variant, and it could be capable of evading the immunity offered by the vaccines. Following the detection of the new Covid variant, several countries imposed a travel ban on people coming from South Africa and Botswana. However, the latest reports indicate that a travel ban alone is not capable to combat the spread of this new variant. 

Omicron variant spreading in several countries 

Europe is now on high alert, as the new Omicron variant has been detected in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. Apart from these nations, countries like the Czech Republic, Austria, Israel, and the Netherlands are all investigating suspected cases of infection from this new variant. 

Covid mask

Scientists have very little knowledge about the new Omicron variant. The new variant has several mutations which could make it more infectious and less susceptible to vaccines.

Even though most of the reported cases of the Omicron variant of Covid are confined to South African countries, medical experts believe that this transmissible variant could have already spread globally. 

"There's been a window of probably about two weeks conservatively that this virus has been spreading. There certainly is a chance that it has already spread globally, but we just don't know yet," said Andrew Pekosz, an epidemiologist from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, The New York Times reports.

Pekosz also added that this new variant of Covid could be already started spreading in New York, and in other parts of the United States. 

WHO issues dire warning

In the meantime, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned countries to embrace strict social distancing measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid

"Though Covid-19 cases have been declining in most countries of our Region, the surge in cases elsewhere in the world and confirmation of a new Variant of Concern is a reminder of the persisting risk and the need for us to continue to do our best to protect against the virus and prevent its spread. At no cost should we let our guards down," said Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, in a statement.