While Delta is still the most common variant on all continents except Africa, Omicron is spreading very quickly
Singapore: Experts in Singapore, who are seeing an increase in Omicron cases, have warned that the new, presumably more contagious variant will likely replace Delta in the coming weeks as the dominant global variant, with the virus more apt and with a step ahead.
While Delta is still the most common variant on all continents except Africa, Omicron is spreading very quickly, said Dr. Sebastian MaurerStroh, executive director of the Agency’s Institute for Bioinformatics. State for science, technology and research.
A data science initiative providing the shared genomics platform for Covid, the Omicron strain accounted for between 7% and 27% of new requests over the past month, through Tuesday. Figures refer to all continents except Africa. data, it appears that Delta will decrease over time compared to Omicron, ”The Straits Times reported, citing Dr. Maurer-Stroh, who is part of the global team that maintains Gisaid.
The new variant was first detected in South Africa on November 11, then in Botswana and Hong Kong, before spreading to more than 110 countries, last weekend. Omicron is already dominant in Australia, Russia, South Africa and the UK, noted Professor Dale Fisher, senior consultant in the division of infectious diseases at National University Hospital.
“We are seeing a global transition from Delta to Omicron because with higher transmissibility the virus is fitter and has a reproductive advantage,” said Dale Fisher. But he added a caveat that Omicron’s rate reports could be skewed as some countries do little gene sequencing, and those who do can look for a deletion in a specific spike gene to identify Omicron, instead of genome-wide sequencing.
Singapore’s Department of Health, or MoH, said on its website that COVID-19 cases that test positive for what’s known as Sgene target failure will be classified as Omicron as of December 24. Sgene encodes the virus spike protein. Based on local experience, if a person tests positive for the failure of the Sgene target, the individual is very likely to have the Omicron variant, the Singapore Department of Health said, noting that this practice aligns with those of other villages.
Singapore reported 170 new cases of Omicron on Wednesday. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Singapore has recorded 278,750 cases of COVID-19 and 826 deaths. Dale Fisher said most industry insiders believe Omicron will replace Delta as the dominant strain.
While the Delta variant has 13 mutations including nine on the spike protein, Omicron has about 50 mutations never seen together before, and 32 of these are on the spike protein. Due to its mutations, the Delta variant attaches more efficiently to human cell receptors, making it more infectious, Fisher said.
But the Omicron variant has worried health officials because the virus is even more “sticky” due to its additional mutations, he added. The rise and fall of new variants over time follows the laws of nature and the survival of the fittest, noted Dale Fisher.
Dr Maurer-Stroh said the environment in which two variants clash will also help determine which is more effective. “As the immunity of the population increases by both vaccination and natural infection, the severity decreases, but even a slightly better escape from the dominant immune response can give one variant the advantage over another. “, did he declare.
“This is also what we see with different variations of the flu each year.” Dr Maurer-Stroh said: “Due to the great benefits of vaccination, including boosters, we are seeing less severe cases. As Omicron and Delta continue to fight for dominance, some have wondered if it would be possible to be infected with both strains at the same time.
“It is possible but rare. And very quickly, only one variant would be the dominant infection in the body,” added Dr Maurer-Stroh. International evidence indicates that the variant Omicron is likely to be more transmissible, but less severe than the Delta variant.