Omicron spread: 108 countries and over 1.5 lakh patients in a month

Published on Dec 25, 2021 07:59 AM IST

The first case of Omicron was reported on November 24 in South Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it as a variant of concern within a couple of days. 

Omicron has spread across the world and over 100 countries have reported it. (AP File Photo)
Omicron has spread across the world and over 100 countries have reported it. (AP File Photo)
By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

The Omicron variant, which was first reported last month from South Africa, has fuelled thousands of cases worldwide and forced governments to impose stricter restrictions including travel bans.

The speed with which Omicron infections have spread can be gauged from the fact that in just one month 108 countries have reported 151,368 cases and there have been 26 deaths.

The first case of Omicron was reported on November 24 in South Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it as a variant of concern within a couple of days as experts said it has an unusually high number of mutations that could make it more transmissible and even result in immune evasion.

South Africa

In South Africa, Delta was responsible for only 2 per cent of new cases in early May, rising to 89 per cent by July 12. On the other hand, the first case of Omicron was detected on November 24 and as of December 13, the latest variant has become a major variant in South Africa. At present, data shows there are 95 per cent of Omicron cases in the country.

Britain

In Britain, only 0.10 per cent of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases were due to Delta as of April 5, which increased to 74 per cent by the end of May. By June, the Delta variant was behind more than 90 per cent of the Covid-19 cases.

Also read | Omicron fallout: Over 4,000 flights cancelled world over on Christmas weekend

Now, coronavirus infections in the UK have broken records within a month due to Omicron. More than 1 lakh new cases were reported in the UK on December 22, the highest ever in a single day.

US

The Delta variant was behind 0.31 per cent of all coronavirus disease cases in the United States by April 19 and by the end of June, the figure had risen to 50 per cent. One month later, by the end of July, Delta was responsible for more than 90 per cent of the cases. 

Also read | Variant watch: UK govt study backs lower Omicron severity risk

Meanwhile, the rate of infection in the US has risen sharply since Omicron was reported in the country. As of December 22, every fourth case in the US is due to Omicron.

India

Cases of the Delta variant started appearing in India by the end of December 2020. In the first month, only 0.73 per cent of the total cases were of the Delta variant but Omicron has spread to 17 states in just 22 days. The first case of Omicron came to light on December 2 in India and there are 358 cases of this variant in the country. India has not reported any deaths in this category yet.

Germany

Delta was responsible for 0.69 per cent of the cases when the variant was first detected in Germany. However, the Omicron variant has been responsible for 9 per cent of the total Covid-19 cases in this European country in just a few days.

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