"The genetic backbone of Omicron is very, very different. However, we don't yet have consistent data whether those genetic differences result in increased severity," the professor explained.
Tougher entry rules for foreign flyers, mandatory masks: UK announces new Covid norms as Omicron strain arrives
Britain has already said it is banning travel from six southern African nations because of the emergence of Omicron: South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The scientific community is worried as they fear that this new strain could fuel outbreaks in several countries and cripple health systems once again.
Within a few days of the discovery of the new variant, it has already impacted on a jittery world that is sensitive to bad COVID-19 news, with deaths around the globe standing at well over 5 million.
The Israeli Health Ministry said it detected the new strain in a traveler who had returned from Malawi and was investigating two other suspected cases. All three had been vaccinated.
All international flyers travelling from and transitioning through high-risk countries should be subjected to rigorous screening and testing, a circular said.
Detected cases and per cent testing positive are both increasing quickly, particularly in the most populated provinces of Gauteng, North West and Limpopo.
This virus strain was first identified in March but it remains to be studied whether this is more transmissible, immune evasive, or capable of causing more severe disease.
The committee shall work with public health experts and institutions to generate surveillance data and develop public health protocols at the state level.
Although the B.1.617 was a mutation of concern across the districts, current data shows it is being replaced by the old variants.
Lists Kerala and north-east states as vulnerable spots for outbreak
In the last few weeks, Vietnam has confirmed more than 3,500 new cases and 12 deaths, increasing the country’s total death toll to 47.
The two parties sparred after Singapore called the Indian envoy and conveyed to him its strong objections to the "unfounded assertions" by Kejriwal.
Delhi CM doesn't speak for India: Centre after Singapore objects to Kejriwal's claim of 'new Covid strain'
'Irresponsible comments from those who should know better can damage long-standing partnerships,' said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
The B.1.617 virus variant, first identified in India last year, has been classified as a 'variant of concern' at the global level by the WHO.