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    Jagran Explainer: Amid Omicron threats and fading Delta, a Delmicron surge in the West sparks worries

    Amid the struggles to contain the faster-spreading Omicron variant, a new term 'Delmicron' is doing rounds on the internet and several reports have blamed it for the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in America and Europe.

    By Talibuddin Khan
    Fri, 24 Dec 2021 02:44 PM (IST)
    amid-omicron-threats-and-fading-delta-a-delmicron-surge-in-the-west-sparks-worries-all-you-need-to-know

    New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Since it was first discovered in late 2019 in China's Wuhan, the coronavirus has changed our lives, apparently forever. Wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing are some of the new normals in this pandemic-ridden world. In the past two years, several variants of COVID-19 have emerged and have wreaked havoc across the world.

    At a time when the world is recovering from the devastation of the Delta variant, the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has sparked worries across the globe including India. The Omicron variant is said to be 3 times more transmissible than the Delta variant and is classified as the 'variant of concern' (VOC) by the World Health Organisation. The Omicron variant has also dulled our hopes for a pandemic-free 2022.

    Amid the struggles to contain the faster-spreading Omicron variant, a new term 'Delmicron' is doing rounds on the internet and several reports have blamed it for the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in America and Europe and pegged it as a combination of the Delta and Omicron variants of the coronavirus. However, no health authority anywhere in the world including the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), WHO and Centre for Disease Control (CDC) have not talked about the Delmicron.

    So, what is Delmicron then?

    The term Delmicron came into existence after a comment by Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of Maharashtra's COVID-19 Task Force, who reportedly said that "Delmicron, the twin spikes of Delta and Omicron, in Europe and US has led to a mini tsunami of cases." The debates over Delmicron arose after different interpretations of Dr Joshi's quote. While many are believing it to be a new variant of COVID-19, several reports have termed it as a situation where both Delta and Omicron variants either are found present in the same Covid-19 patient or are spreading rapidly in the same region.

    Is Delmicron a new variant?

    The answer right now is no as no health authority from across the world including the WHO has not shared any information on Delmicron and has not even talked about it in any of the press conferences. There is no information right now about the COVID-19 going into another mutation. This is backed by the fact that World Health Organisation (WHO) names the COVID-19 variants as greek letters in alphabetical order. Hence, if any new variant comes into existence it would be the alphabet that follows Omicron, which are pi, rho, sigma, and so on.

    How variants are named and How many variants have been found till now?

    Novel coronavirus variants are identified by the UN's global health body that assigns it labels or names. WHO assigns labels for those variants that are designated as Variants of Interest or Variants of Concern by the health agency. It is worth mentioning that while WHO assigns these names, it keeps its scientific names as well. The Omicron variant is scientifically dubbed B.1.1.529. The World Health Organisation has so far termed 5 variants of COVID-19 as the 'variant of concern'. These 5 variants are Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron.

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