WHO declares B.1.1.529 Covid variant as a variant of concern, names it Omicron

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday declared SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529 as a new variant of concern named Omicron.

The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE), an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 held a meeting on Friday.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning, it said.

Countries have been asked to enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and submit complete genome sequences and associated metadata to a publicly available database, such as GISAID.


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