- After the delta variant, the new variant Omicron poses a significant health risk across the world.
- Various countries are reporting daily surge in Omicron cases.
- On Tuesday, Chief Health Officer Paul Kelly informed a parliamentary committee that there were 37 recorded cases of the latest variant of concern in Australia.
Just after Australia heaved a sigh of relief following the victory over the delta variant of COVID-19, there is a renewed fear over Omicron variant. Omicron is slowly spreading its tentacles across various Asian countries such as India, however it seems Australia is not scared of the variant and this is evident as the Country has lifted border restrictions across its states and territories. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently warned that Omicron poses a "high infection risk".
Amidst rising Omicron fear, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly has warned that more variants are expected in coming time, likely exhausting the Greek alphabet letters required for naming each.
On Tuesday, Chief Health Officer Paul Kelly informed a parliamentary committee that there were 37 recorded cases of the latest variant of concern in Australia. Of these 10 cases are linked to overseas travel.
Kelly was quoted as saying that though there are no definite signals that omicron is more severe compared to the other variants that have preceded it, but the work to understand omicron is rapidly progressing and the situation is being closely monitored.
Meanwhile, the rise in Omicron cases in various countries has sparked a new wave of travel restrictions by countries like the US, Canada, the EU, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Brazil, the Maldives, and Saudi Arabia.
Is the Vaccine effective against Omicron Variant?
At a time when the Country is boasting of achieving full inoculation rate of 88.29 % of those aged 16 and older, there is no evidence that vaccination will be effective against Omicron. Professor Kelly has stated that there is no proof to suggest that a particular vaccine would be needed to respond to this new variant.
Meanwhile, more than 39.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccination have been administered in the country so far.