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The new variant has a name "omicron". Our brave and bold Health Minister Greg Hunt at this stage says the border remains open to South Africa. Lucky I have complete faith in our country’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly. What stars the LNP cronies in Kelly, Murphy and Coatsworth have been throughout this pandemic. We really need to do more to increase global vaccination rates.
 

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yep - there's plenty in the press at the moment, but maybe if you ask around the Vic Dept of Premier and Cabinet you should be able to collate a large amount of disturbing horrific information
surprised you have time to post here ... what with all these polls youve been responding to
 

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The new variant has a name "omicron".
We are already past the middle of the Greek alphabet, it seems like only yesterday we were talking about Delta - the 4th letter.
Now we have reached Omicron - the 15th letter.
What happens when we reach Omega? How will we name the variants then? Will another different alphabet be used?
And what happened to all those between Delta and Omicron? (Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lamda, Mu, Nu and Xi) - did they just fizzle out? I didn't notice much media about them - except for Nu. I think Nu was in the news a little bit.
Also is variant mutation nomenclature strictly linear? i.e. must a mutation have a direct lineage from the most recently named variant for it then to be able to be named the next letter? So did the Omicron variant have to mutate directly from a Xi variant in order for it to be branded with the Omicron name? Or could the Omicron variant be a mutant of any of the variants Alpha to Xi?

So much musing to be done in the world of Coronavirus...
 

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When we reach Omega might have to be the Dan, Mark and Anna strains so we can please theskier. Yes lots of musings, unknowns and uncertainty. Hopefully it will only be a mild variant.
 

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Honestly I think we should do what UK, Israel, Singapore etc are doing as a precaution. We don't know much about this variant!!! If we get the variant Singapore etc will close their borders to us.
 

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Just announced by the Australian government.

  • Australia’s borders are closed to anyone (except Australian citizens) arriving from nine southern African countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, the Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique.
  • Australians attempting to return from those countries will be subject to hotel quarantine.
  • All flights from those nine countries to Australia are suspended.
  • Restrictions will apply to international students and skilled migrants arriving from travel bubbles, and who have been to those countries in the past 14 days.
  • Anyone who has already arrived in Australia from one of the nine listed countries must quarantine and get tested immediately.
 

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surprised you have time to post here ... what with all these polls youve been responding to
When we reach Omega might have to be the Dan, Mark and Anna strains so we can please theskier. Yes lots of musings, unknowns and uncertainty. Hopefully it will only a mild variant.
the Anna strain would have the lowest IQ of all
 

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The new variant has a name "omicron". Our brave and bold Health Minister Greg Hunt at this stage says the border remains open to South Africa. Lucky I have complete faith in our country’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly. What stars the LNP cronies in Kelly, Murphy and Coatsworth have been throughout this pandemic. We really need to do more to increase global vaccination rates.
logistically will be very difficult to get the same sort of vaccination rates as Australia in many African countries. Some places are far too dangerous for westerners to go to, and many governments are corrupt and dysfunctional
 

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How will we name the variants then? Will another different alphabet be used?
Constellations. 88 official ones to choose from, then there's plenty of asterisms after that.

And what happened to all those between Delta and Omicron? (Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lamda, Mu, Nu and Xi) - did they just fizzle out? I didn't notice much media about them - except for Nu. I think Nu was in the news a little bit.
Former variants of interest (Lambda and Mu are still VoI), many of them now dead. Nu and Xi were skipped over for Omicron - presumably because "Nu Variant" just sounds like "new variant" and Xi because of politics - or maybe WHO just don't want people mispronouncing things.
 

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Both Kappa and Lambda received some press attention. Skipping Xi/Ksi is ... interesting. Greek letter Pi is pronounced different to the mathematical ratio Pi, so that will also be a curiosity.
 

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Not sure how the sooky Chinese President Xi Jinping would have taken a virus being named after him. Skipping Xi might have been prudent.
 

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There's going to be handwringing in the media reporting about probable cases of this --

Because of the number of spike protein modifications, the variant is broadly discernible from PCR alone -- it won't show a positive SARS-CoV2 spike protein indicator.

But that makes it a probable case - it still has to be sequenced for confirmation.

Will the media care about the difference? unlikely. South African reports about how quickly it's become dominant are both based on very low case numbers and, reportedly, from PCR indicators rather than genomic sequencing.
 
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