Urgent work needs to be done to understand new Covid-19 variant Omicron, says Singapore

Although the Omicron variant emerged recently, it should still be detected on a PCR test, said NCID. - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, Nov 28 (The Straits Times/ANN): A lot of urgent work needs to be done to further understand the new coronavirus variant Omicron, said the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on Sunday (Nov 28).

It added that although Omicron emerged recently, the variant should still be detected on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an NCID spokesman said: "There remains a lot of urgent work to be done to further understand this variant.

"This includes transmissibility, diagnostics, clinical manifestations, disease severity, acquired immunity from vaccine or natural infection and others."

The spokesman added that any positive cases should be detected by tests that are now being used.

He added that NCID will continue to monitor and collaborate internationally to further its understanding of this new variant of concern.

Omicron, or the B.1.1.529 strain of the coronavirus, was marked a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday.

Seen as likely more contagious, the latest Covid-19 strain was first detected in South Africa on Nov 11, and has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong.

Singapore and other countries in recent days have restricted travel from southern Africa amid the emergence of the Omicron strain. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , NCID , Urgent , Studies , Covid-19 , Variant , Omicron


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