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The newly detected Omicron variant of COVID-19 will replace older variants like Delta.

The existing data and studies are not sufficient to say whether the Omicron variant is capable of replacing the Delta variant.

The existing data and studies are not sufficient to say whether the Omicron variant is capable of replacing the Delta variant.The omicron variant of COVID-19, first identified in South Africa, has now spread to at least 38 other countries. On November 3, 2021, analysis presented at a scientific conference in South Africa suggested that the omicron variant is highly transmissible and capable of evading immunity. The Omicron variant has about 50 mutations across its genome with about 31 of those occurring on the spike protein itself. By contrast, other variants, such as Delta, have fewer than 20 mutations. However, currently, there is little information or clinical data to conclude whether the Omicron variant can cause more severe symptoms than the Delta variant.

According to preliminary findings released on November 02, by a South African research group, reinfections are more likely with Omicron than with the Delta or the Beta variants. However, the study couldn't estimate the magnitude of this change, that is, the likelihood of reinfection.

The World Health Organization's chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, told Reuters that there is a possibility that omicron could become (the) dominant variant. She added, however, that it is impossible to predict. The Delta variant now accounts for about 99 percent of COVID-19 cases globally, she added.

There are many speculations making rounds about the Omicron variant taking over from the Delta variant. However, experts agree that existing data and studies are insufficient to confirm that the Omicron variant spreads more quickly than Delta. Furthermore, there isn’t information on whether the Omicron variant is capable of replacing the Delta variant as the dominant variant. Scientists and health officials are still trying to analyze data to predict Omicron's impact and the additions and deletions in the viral genome.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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