How concerned is Omicron and where did it come from?

The emergence of a new type of Covid-19 late last month has sent public health officials, governments and people around the world into a downward spiral.

Fear and uncertainty suddenly returned in a big way. Travel restrictions have been imposed on at least seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa, new rules on pre-departure testing have been hastily put in place for people coming to Ireland while some countries have closed their borders to all foreign visitors completely.

But what was behind all this panic? Once the scientific community became aware of the latest variant – now known as Omicron – alarm bells began to ring loudly.

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