But in India it is quickly becoming the driving variant, and the country’s health ministry even went as far as to launch mock drills this week in an attempt to see if hospitals were prepared to deal with a possible influx of patients.
Wearing face coverings in public has been made compulsory again in some states, being the first time in more than a year for some.
Figures from Our World in Data, run by Oxford University, show how cases have spiked in India in recent months.
The Mail reported that there are fears that Arcturus is the most contagious sub-variant of Omicron yet.
In India’s southern state of Kerela, Health Minister Veena George reintroduced masks for the elderly, pregnant women, and those with underlying conditions.
This week, case numbers throughout India rose by 3,122 in a single day, but India’s severe reaction has been partly informed by a devastating second wave the country suffered – and a desire from politicians to avoid a repeat.
In a press conference, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation’s technical lead for COVID-19 response, said: “Omicron is the variant of concern that remains dominant world wide and there’s still more than 600 sublineages in circulation.
New Covid Arcturus variant found in UK – as India forced to bring back mask laws – Mirror OnlineNew Covid Arcturus variant found in UK – as India forced to bring back mask laws – Mirror Online