Difference Between Delta and Omicron Variants of COVID-19

In India, the predominant Delta variant of the coronavirus is being gradually overshadowed by the increasing number of infections caused by the Omicron variant. The World Health Organisation (WHO) designated Omicron as a variation of concern only a few weeks after it was first detected in Botswana. So, if you are concerned and have questions regarding the key distinctions between the Delta and Omicron variants, then this article is for you.

Delta vs. Omicron: Key distinctions

Origin of the variant

The Omicron coronavirus is the newest member of the coronavirus family. On 24 November 2021, the variation was discovered in Botswana, a country in Southern Africa. A few days later, it was detected in South Africa, and from there it became a super spreader, spreading to other parts of the world.

Delta variant, on the other hand, was first detected in India in December 2020. The way the Delta version wreaked havoc all around the world is a painful reminder. According to Yale University data, Delta is one of the most dominant SARS CoV-2 variants. Delta’s hospitalisation costs are so high that if you don’t have health insurance, paying your medical bills can easily become unmanageable.

The difference in mutations

Compared to the Delta variant, the study suggests that the Omicron variant showed more mutations at the time of gene sequencing. There were around 43 mutations in the spike proteins of Omicron, whereas, in the Delta variant, only 18 mutations were found. However, researchers suggest that the number of mutations does not necessarily imply that the virus is more lethal. Since it is too early to know such details about the Omicron variant, you should ensure that you and your family are secured by family health insurance. You can also purchase the Corona Kavach Policy to increase your COVID-19 coverage.

Effectiveness of vaccine

According to the research published by the Lancet, the Covishield vaccination was found to be quite successful in India in combating the fatal Delta strain. In addition to Covishield, other vaccinations have also shown promising results in combating the Delta variant. However, when it comes to Omicron, the effectiveness of the vaccine is yet to be established. In fact, scientists and researchers have differing views on Omicron’s vaccine effectiveness. So, nothing can be said for sure until backed by a substantial study.

Mortality rate

Compared to the Delta strain, the Omicron strain has a much lower death rate and hospitalisation rate. Apart from that, the severity of health problems due to Omicron is much lower, across all generations.

Transmission rate

The Omicron and Delta variants are both found to be highly transmissible. However, the Omicron strain has 26 distinct mutations, several of which are in locations that are targeted by vaccination antibodies. So, which strain has the highest transmission rate remains an open subject, but many feel Omicron transmission is significantly higher.

To conclude

Both Delta and Omicron strains have a significant transmission risk, although the latter is still in the research stage, so it is probably too early to remark. As such, we should take all feasible precautions to protect ourselves from these strains obtain a family health insurance policy and, if necessary, a Corona Kavach policy.