Will Omicron turn COVID-19 pandemic into an endemic? Here’s what we know so far

Experts are of the view that Omicron might accelerate the transition of coronavirus from pandemic to endemic, as per media report. 

Will Omicron turn COVID-19 pandemic into an endemic? Here’s what we know so far
File Photo

New Delhi: As the Omicron rapidly spreads its tentacles across India, experts believe that the coronavirus might become an endemic post this new COVID-19 variant. 

As per CNBC report, experts are of the view that Omicron is likely to accelerate the transition of coronavirus from pandemic to endemic. The theory behind this is that as Omicron is highly-transmissible and the unvaccinated population is vulnerable, hospitalizations and deaths could see a spike in the coming months, however, recovered patients would develop such a degree of natural immunity that could protect against the next COVID-19 variant. 

However, Dr. David Ho, a world-renowned virologist and Columbia University professor, called it a “speculative” theory and said that COVID-19 has definitely taken some “unpredictable turns” in the past couple of years. 

South Africa, which detected the first case of this new variant of concern, even though saw a rapid rise in new infections, hospitalizations and deaths have remained relatively low. Experts allude that to the country’s vaccination demographics and hot December weather, CNBC reported. 

Dr Julian Tang, professor of Respiratory Sciences at Leicester University told The Guardian that he believes Omicron is the first step of coronavirus losing its power to cause serious illness. Tang said, “My gut feeling is that this variant is the first step in a process by which the virus adapts to the human population to produce more benign symptoms.” 

Meanwhile, coronavirus is once again spreading like wildfire in India since the detection of Omicron, triggering the speculation of a third wave. Around 16,764 new COVID-19 cases and 220 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, as per Ministry of Health data on Friday (December 31), while the total Omicron case tally mounted to 1,270. As per ANI sources, Omicron has started replacing Delta variant of COVID-19 in India in terms of number of cases. 

Live TV

Zee News App: Read latest news of India and world, bollywood news, business updates, cricket scores, etc. Download the Zee news app now to keep up with daily breaking news and live news event coverage.