Many countries still not sequencing Omicron: WHO chief scientist

The mapping of the global share of Omicron cases, analysed by Global Health Strategies, shows there is no data available from countries in Africa and the middle-east regarding Omicron.
India on Wednesday confirmed the first Omicron-related death. (REUTERS)
India on Wednesday confirmed the first Omicron-related death. (REUTERS)
Published on Jan 05, 2022 08:49 PM IST
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By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Chief scientist of the World Health Organization Dr Soumya Swaminathan on Wednesday said many countries are still not sequencing Omicron while the variant of SARS-CoV-2 is becoming the dominant Covid variant worldwide. According to data, Omicron, the variant first identified in South Africa, has spread to 139 countries. Over 4.70 lakh cases and 108 deaths have been recorded across the world, with the United Kingdom leading the chart with maximum cases. Next are Denmark, the United States, Germany, Canada, Norway, Australia etc. Though there has been a sharp surge in the number of cases across countries, hospitalisations remained relatively lower as compared to earlier surges.

The mapping of the global share of Omicron cases, analysed by Global Health Strategies, shows there is no data available from countries in Africa and the middle-east regarding Omicron. 

Omicron has already overtaken Delta in the US, UK. India is not among the top 10 countries in the number of overall Omicron cases, but the variant is causing rapid spread of the infection. In cities, Omicron is the dominant variant, experts have confirmed.

India has also confirmed technically the country's first death linked to Omicron -- a 73-year-old man who died in a Udaipur hospital on December 31. Health ministry officials said the man had comorbidities but as his genome-sequencing report came before his death, this is technically the first Omicron-related death of the country.

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