Unverified information on Omicron did cause panic

The Claim: Unverified information on Omicron did cause panic
The Verdict: claim verdict

Social media posts went viral claiming that the latest Covid-19 variant – Omicron was much deadlier and dangerous than other variants.

Although Omicron was termed as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO), scientists are still trying to understand the severity of it.

But social media and people are claiming that the Omicron variant is “very deadly” yet so far, doctors say it causes less severe disease, is mild and patients are reportedly able to manage it at home, with most having recovered within the 10 to 14 day isolation period.

But these viral claims from people are exaggerated and point to a repetition of similar claims made about the Delta variant.

Experts have noted that most of these claims are still unfounded or not documented yet in the case of Omicron therefore these viral claims are misleading.

Omicron’s characteristics, however, should not be taken lightly, WHO has warned, with director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying it could overwhelm unprepared health systems.

WHO has advised that people take Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and vaccinate to fight against Omicron, which South African medics suspect is more contagious and has been spreading faster than Delta.

Medics have said Omicron has been found to have more than 30 mutations in its spike protein, which are thought to enable it to evade natural and vaccine immunity and make it more infectious than Delta.

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