Since it was first discovered in South Africa, a new strain of coronavirus that has spread around the world has been named 'Omicron'. It is being confirmed simultaneously in South Africa, Asia and Europe, and there is concern that the transmission power will be stronger than the delta virus.

Correspondent Han Se-hyeon.

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new mutation of the Corona 19 virus has 32 spike protein mutations on its surface.

That's twice as many as the 16 traditional delta variants with high diffusivity.

The spike protein is used when the virus invades human cells, and there are concerns that the spread or penetration power of the mutant will be stronger as there are many spike proteins.

[Joe Pahla / Minister of Health of South Africa: A new strain of serious concern is driving the current high incidence of COVID-19.] The

World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting and based on this evidence, the new strain was identified as a 'variant of concern'. specified as

A 'variant of concern' is classified when the transmission or fatality rate of the mutant virus becomes severe, and resistance to current treatments or vaccines increases and an initial investigation is ongoing.

In addition, the name of the mutant was 'Omicron', the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.

"The new variant appears to increase the risk of reinfection compared to other variants of concern," the WHO said.

[Christian Lindmeier/WHO Spokesperson: The new mutation has many mutations, and research is ongoing.

It is likely that it will take several weeks for the results of the new mutation to be obtained.]

Currently, the new mutant is being identified simultaneously in South Africa and Botswana, as well as in Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.