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Nagpur: The newly-discovered Omicron variant is said to be 4.2 times more transmissible in its early stage than the delta variant, as per a study by a Japanese scientist who advises the country’s health ministry.

Professor of health and environmental sciences at Kyoto University Hiroshi Nishiura said that the omicron variant transmits more and escapes immunity built naturally and through vaccines more. On the other hand, Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday said a three-shot course of their Covid-19 vaccine was shown to generate a neutralizing effect against the Omicron variant.

Various reports claim that the Omicron variant could be a bigger blow than the delta variant which killed millions across the globe. The World Health Orgnaisation (WHO) cautioned that it could duel surges with ‘severe consequences.’

The variant which has been termed as ‘variant of concern’ by the WHO was first detected in South Africa. The Omicron variant has now been detected in almost 38 countries till now. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday has warned of another wave of infections in the near future. The medical body also urged the Centre to announce ‘additional’ or booster doses for the healthcare personnel.

The newly-discovered Omicron variant has been detected in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and Rajasthan. A total of 23 cases have been reported till date. The IMA claimed that with the scientific evidence available and the experience noted in countries of origin, it is quite evident that the Omicron variant has high penetrability and will affect more people.

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