On November 26th 2021, The World Health Organization named the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529,which has been detected in South Africa, as Omicron. To know about Omicron Mutation, first we have to understand that any variant will have 50 mutations in total, including those in the spike protein. A high number raises concerns that it may evade antibodies and results in increased transmission. Scientifically it contains changed characteristics that are found in Alpha(Kent Variant), Beta(South Africa Variant), Gamma(Brazil Variant) and Delta(India) variants. Virologists and Professors of Molecular Oncology at Warwick Medical School said there may be few similarities plus novel mutations that were not observed so far in previous variants. (PCR test monitors three different genes) Polymerase chain reaction test will give false negative, because Omicron mutations leads to “S gene dropout(target failure)” meaning not detected which is a marking point which is actually helpful in diagnosing omicron as told by Chris Richardson, Microbiology and Immunology Professor at the University of Dalhousie. South African Doctors said the top five Symptoms reported from Omicron patients were runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and fatigue (extreme tiredness). Two other symptoms may be night sweats and body pains.
Anthony Stephen Fauci OMRI is an American physician-scientist and immunologist serving as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President told AFP(Agence France-Presse, a leading global news agency) that the variant has spread to more than 40 countries since it was first detected, so it is likely even more (say three times) transmissible than Delta but there is some suggestion that it might even be less severe, because when you look at some of the cohorts that are being followed in South Africa, the ratio between the number of infections and the number of hospitalizations seems to be less than with Delta.
Hence, there will not be much direct impact on business unless and until the rulers put strict restrictions in terms of mobility but there may be sentimental impact. Already many countries have imposed travel restrictions on South African Nations after Omicron was discovered. The uncertainty about its spread triggered a tense time for many businesses. The rulers have imposed mandatory face masks in public places, this is a good precaution but the traders confidence levels toggles and common people may need to lessen their gatherings. We should be prepared to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and also to face any challenges. In order to ensure timely supply of adequate oxygen to the needy, prior communication with the oxygen supplying companies should be made.