UK reports first Omicron death: Omicron would be dominant variant in London within 48 hours
Tuesday 14 December 2021 7:03 AM UTC
LONDON Dec 13: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday the first patient had died after contracting the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
“Sadly, at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron,” Johnson, told reporters, a day after he warned of a “tidal wave” of infection from the mutation.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the new Omicron coronavirus strain found in 63 countries will surpass Delta in spreading speed. However, the health organisation is unsure why the new strain is spreading so fast.
“Given the current available data, it is likely that Omicron will outpace the Delta variant where community transmission occurs,” the document said.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the variant now accounted for 44% of infections in London and would be the dominant strain in the capital within 48 hours. New Omicron infections are estimated at 200,000 per day, Javid said.
The Omicron variant might reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines based on preliminary data, but this strain is less dangerous than Delta, the organization assumed, reported Sputnik.
“There are limited available data, and no peer-reviewed evidence, on vaccine efficacy or effectiveness to date for Omicron. Preliminary evidence, and the considerably altered antigenic profile of the Omicron spike protein, suggests a reduction in vaccine efficacy against infection and transmission associated with Omicron,” the statement said.
The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. Since then, it has spread to many parts of the world. In India, 38 cases of Omicron has been reported after the first case of Covid-19 variant was confirmed in Kerala.
Till now, Omicron has been detected in Maharashtra (18), Rajasthan (9), Karnataka (3), Karnataka (3) and Andhra Pradesh (1) and in Union Territories of Delhi (2) and Chandigarh (1).