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Rajasthan State PCS

  • 06 Dec 2021
  • 2 min read
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Confirmation of Omicron Virus by Genome Sequencing

Why in News

  • On December 5, 2021, in the report of genome sequencing of a family from South Africa in Rajasthan, 9 people have been found to be suffering from the new variant Omicron of Corona.

Key Points

  • The World Health Organization has identified the recently discovered strain B. of Kovid-19 as 'Variants of Concern - VOC'.
  • The virus was first detected in South Africa and its name was changed to Omicron.
  • Omicron has been placed in the most worrying category of COVID-19 variants along with the globally dominant Delta Plus and its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta and Gamma.
  • However there is no reliable estimate of how much more infectious this Omicron variant is than the previous virus strain.
  • In addition to South Africa, an Omicron variant has been identified in people arriving from Malawi, Botswana, Belgium and Hong Kong in Israel.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to name the variant based on the letters of the Greek alphabet instead of the countries where they were first identified.
  • WHO chose the name Omicron instead of the two letters Nu or Xi between Mu and Omicron.

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