New COVID-19 variant: How dangerous is Omicron? | DW News

New COVID-19 variant: How dangerous is Omicron? | DW News

Scientists in South Africa are warning of a new strain of COVID-19. The variant, which is yet to be named, appears to have a high number of mutations, and there’s a possibility it could be able to evade our immune response and be even more transmissible.
At first, health officials thought they were seeing a small cluster of outbreaks in South Africa’s most populous province. But after examining specimens, they realized they were dealing with something far more serious – a new variant that could be the hardest yet to contain.
Officials are worried that the new variant, known simply as B.1.1.529, could quickly spread through the country and beyond. Only about 35% of adults in South Africa are fully vaccinated, and the rate of vaccination has slowed. And given the findings so far, even current vaccines may not be enough to stop it.
Several countries, including the UK and Germany have announced a ban on flights from South Africa and five neighboring countries as cases of the new variant have already appeared in Botswana and in Hong Kong. No matter where the variant started, it could quickly become a global problem.


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51 Responses

  1. ZeusHaus says:

    Well if it’s already in Hong Kong and Israel, but the travel ban only applies to southern Africa, then the travel ban is useless.

    • Ra Ra says:

      As authorities are

    • Mathy Don says:

      @Lockbert the real fix is very simple, get vaccinated and keep up with it. travel ban can’t stop the disease completely but it can just helped slow it a bit. That may be the difference between having hospital beds available and having a medical system collapsed.

    • Mathy Don says:

      @ZZ Move hehe I don’t travel myself but seems the South Africans were hoping to get a lot of tourists traveling in. Seems their worry shouldn’t be so much that their citizens aren’t allowed into Europe and US but rather that hearing about the ban will discourage tourism

    • BossLady says:

      @DanMac420 no, people like you are spreading it using arrogance and misinformation to do what you want to do. It is not about control. Everyone is in this together.

    • Lalina says:

      It’s an acceptable excuse to ban us 🤷🏽

  2. Andreas Hauschild says:

    If its already in Hongkong, then stopping it is pretty much impossible. Hongkong is a travel hub that goes across the world.

    • Andreas Hauschild says:

      @Sam Z. I know, I live in China for 13 years now, and Hongkong does not have the same restrictions as China. To get China visa you now need invitation from Province level. Entry into HK is easier due to the possibility to get visa.

    • Jablička says:

      @John Wang Those are all excellent points! How nice to see reason in the comments section 🙂

      My own comment meant that an infected person was discovered in quarantine, but we know that the illness is transmissible in quarantine centres even with infection control. There are no perfect systems, we can only do our best.

    • Sam Z. says:

      @Andreas Hauschild “One country two system” even though. Hongkong is a chinese city. China would isolate it for 1 case.
      Also I am not worring about the city Hongkong. I fear that this new variant is already around at many other places where the restriction is not so strict and so well under control

    • Antarctic Empire says:

      Hk won’t last long. As its gonna fall under the hands of CCP soon

    • Sam Z. says:

      @Antarctic Empire u are saying like 1997 is in the future. xD

  3. Markt N says:

    What we need most is for the media to update on this situation as genuine as it is, not control in any way, esp, by politicians worldwide so that the focus would be where it is needed most… respect nature

    • Andras Havas says:

      Look at all the people getting rich saying their vaccines are the best of the best. And yet, can you see the world coming together adopting a good big-brotherly approach? No just politicians grabbing power and money. How about looking at the ORIGINS and stopping the creation of new strains?!!!!!! When will the world finally grow up and say: “Hey we are in the same boat!”

    • Jp W. says:

      All the best with that

    • Jp W. says:

      @Katie Brown its man who did this

    • The Wraith says:

      @Katie Brown *it’s best to let it run its course* ——– Not if we have measures in place to protect ourselves.

    • lynxf says:

      I think it is time to ask ourselves: how does all of this happen? Why no other pandemic disease, your typical flu for once, does not create “new variants, 500% more dangerous etc.”? Is this happening _despite_ all the efforts of glorious pharma companies & governments? Or maybe this happens _exactly because_ of the “leaky vaccines” that acknowledgedly do not prevent anyone from getting sick? Maybe such vaccines and all panicked up frantic _measures_ just support the evolution of more contagious forms?

      How did it happen that such a nasty disease with the original ability to become worse, happened right after the plans for global lockdowns, enforcement of vaccination etc. were made? And by the way, who made these plans? Who is in charge? Who is responsible? Isn’t it time to demand some questions, like these, answered?

  4. Krazzy K says:

    Worrying times ahead, not just because of infection but the economy and increase in harsh living standards and also mental health issues

    • Vtmb2 coming sometime says:

      @Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington facts, truth right here. It’s been some time since I’ve seen such and epidemic in emotional, intelectual and spiritual depression. People can’t find meaning in life anymore, what are we living for? We are destroying everything we built, our planet will go on without us, we are a virus to this planet. I see myself wondering, why have children? To bring them into this hopeless world? Where they’ll be scrutinized from birth and put into categories? With no future if they are just a normal person like 99% of the population? No house, no jobs, no dreams or aspirations of nothing… I truly miss having a purpose in life, everything now feel purposeless…
      Ps: I myself feel like a burden to society, im young but depressed, I have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 10 years… I do not enjoy life, I cannot have all the things I wished for when I was a child (a family, children) it’s selfish, due to my illness I can’t work, I live off social benefits, but I don’t benefit society, I do not give money to help those who help me or help others like me… why am I even here? Nature has elected me to be one weak human and evolution should take care of me. However, I still feel deep inside that im allowed to be alive and experience life like others but still feel hurt over the fact that I cannot give others what they give to me.

    • Muddy Water says:

      Tough times never last, but tough people do. The world is not a kind place

    • Qwerty Uiop says:

      I am talking to Muddy Water

    • Mark Ward says:

      @True Hope
      How does one know where ‘most addicts’ as you wrote get their money from? People struggling with addictions come from all walks of life.

  5. Pvt. Shifty says:

    All seriousness aside, *Omicron* is without a doubt the most badass variant name so far.

  6. Dave Burrows says:

    What does it actually mean to be “500% more” of something, for example, more infectious. I don’t know how to interpret language like that.

  7. Robyn Basson says:

    All I can say is good luck to everyone no matter we say, if this is true and its going to come our way there is nothing we can do whether we believe it or not. So just keep safe and keep calm. ♥️

  8. Eric Mundy says:

    Does it feel like covid is like a video game and we keep getting bosses that are harder and harder? It feels like that to me.

  9. Mine Finder says:

    “The means of defense against foreign danger has always been the instrument of tyranny at home.”
    ― James Madison

  10. Mr. Reborn says:

    “More infectious!”
    “More resistant to vaccines!”
    But by all accounts so far – “very very mild” …. forgetting that little note, arent we?
    Notice how he’s trying to direct the officials answers in the direction the media wants – fear, panic and outrage. Don’t be taken in. Exhibit the same calm interest and observance that they’re doing in South Africa.

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