Omicron, the newest coronavirus variant on the block,
has sent health officials across the world reeling. A highly-mutative variant,
omicron has been classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “variant
of concern”. The virus was first detected in South Africa and has later spread
to several countries
. As a result, countries across the world have either
stopped entry from affected nations or imposed strict curbs on movement.

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While the omicron variant has emerged as a major
headache for the world which was only limping back to normalcy after nearly two
years of disruption, the doctor who was involved with detecting the variant in
South Africa has said that the symptoms of the variant are mild and that there
is no reason to panic.

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Dr Angelique Coetzee, the chairman of the South
African Medical Association said that the new variant was creating “unfamiliar
symptoms” in patients. Speaking to AFP, the doctor said that some of the
symptoms of infection with the omicron variant include: tiredness, mild muscle
ache, scratchy throat, dry cough and a mild fever.

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She further said that patients infected with this particular
variant have been able to recover within a few days and did not have to be hospitalised.
“We are not saying that there will not be severe disease coming forward. But
for now, even the patients we have seen who are not vaccinated have mild
symptoms. I’m quite sure…al lot of people in Europe already have this virus.”

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Several European countries have already detected cases
of the new variant causing the European Union to impose strict curbs. Belgium,
the seat of the European Union in Brussels, has also detected cases of the

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Meanwhile, the Indian government has also upped the
alert on the new variant. India, which a few months ago had its health
infrastructure overwhelmed by the Delta variant, has asked states and Union
Territories to perform intensive containment, engage in active surveillance and
monitor hotspots.