The world is on high alert.
The newly emerged COVID-19 variant Omicron- which is a variant of concern- was first detected in South Africa, and has now spread to other countries.
The scientists had warned that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible and can spread rapidly across the world. The countries in which the Omicron variant has shown its presence are Israel, Belgium, England, Australia and Austria.
Germany is currently grappling with the fourth wave of the COVID-19 crisis, and adding new cases of the Omicron variant is only making matters worse. Effective Sunday, Germany has placed travel restrictions from South Africa. Germans who travel back to Germany from South Africa must quarantine for 14 days.
What Dr. Faucci thinks about the new variant
Dr. Faucci has stated that the variant may have already been in the US, we just don't know yet. Amid the spread of the Omicron variant to other countries, he says the US may experience a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections. He states whether or not we experience a new surge depends on the overall vaccination rates. If we increase the vaccination rates, we can mitigate the looming crisis, he says.
However, because this virus carries a number of mutations, it's not yet clear how effective the present COVID-19 vaccine is in protecting against this new variant. We need more information from health officials.