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Now-Dominant Omicron Might Push the Pandemic to Its End, Say Experts

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 19, 2023

Now-Dominant Omicron Might Push the Pandemic to Its End, Say Experts

The Department of Health announced in early 2022 that Omicron became the dominant variant then in the Philippines. What does it mean for us? Is it true that after Omicron, COVID-19 would be more like the seasonal flu? Here is the experts’ take on this matter. 

DOH Says Omicron Is Now the Dominant Variant in the Country

Previously, then Health Secretary Duque mentioned in a briefing that Omicron showed up in 60% of sequenced samples. Back then, although the secretary already suspected that Omicron had replaced Delta, the Philippine Genome Center stated that they would have to verify the results first. 

Then by January 2022, the DOH made another announcement: Omicron became present in at least 90% of sequenced samples. This leaves little doubt that Omicron has become then the dominant variant in the country.  

This development doesn’t surprise experts. When Omicron was first detected in South Africa in November of 2021, researchers determined that it might be highly transmissible due to its numerous mutations. 

In fact, World Health Organization country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe warned on Wednesday that Omicron would soon replace Delta as the predominant variant in the Philippines. 

How Dominant Is Omicron in Other Parts of the World?

Omicron has become then the dominant variant in the Philippines, but how about other countries? 

The United States had declared Omicron as the dominant variant in the country back in December 2021, nearly a month after the variant was first detected. Experts believe it was a testament to how fast this particular variant spreads. 

In France, Omicron was already the dominant variant before the end of 2021. Reports also hinted at Omicron’s dominance in England back in December 2021. 

With Omicron’s rapid spread, some people believe that it might overtake Delta in many more countries. 

Omicron and Delta

A small study in South Africa involving 33 Omicron-infected patients showed that they gained a certain level of immunity against Delta. This immunity is enhanced in the case of vaccinated patients. 

If it’s true that Omicron could “neutralize” Delta, then there’s a good chance that the first would “displace” the latter by reducing Delta’s ability to reinfect patients. The potential displacement might also be expedited by the fact that we now see Omicron-related surges. 

Omicron: The End of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Amidst surges, numerous reports are saying that Omicron is potentially the end of COVID-19. Is there any truth behind this claim? 

Infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, hopes that Omicron would be the variant to push COVID-19 to its “more manageable, endemic phase.”

An endemic disease is constantly present, but doesn’t affect a large number of people, such as malaria or influenza for example. It doesn’t disrupt society as much as a pandemic does. 

Experts believe that since Omicron is highly transmissible, but appears to be less severe, it could mark the beginning of the pandemic’s end. 

However, Dr. Fauci said it still depends on whether or not another strong variant would surface. 

Experts: ‘Don’t Deliberately Contract Omicron’

It’s easy to see why some people would want to contract Omicron. One, it appears to be less severe than Delta, and it might also give you some kind of immunity against the more severe variant. Others also want to have Omicron just to “get it over with.” Omicron has become the dominant variant, after all. 

But experts vehemently disagree. 

Omicron may appear to be less severe, but it could still lead to hospitalization. Getting infected means adding stress to the loaded healthcare system. Also, getting COVID increases your risk of developing long-term symptoms, such as loss of smell and taste. 

Finally, getting Omicron means you might spread it to others, including people with comorbidities and unvaccinated children. 

Key Takeaways

Omicron has been the dominant variant in the country, based on the latest sequencing data. Countries like France and the United States also said this variant has already taken over. 
Experts hope that Omicron will be the variant to push the COVID-19 pandemic to its more manageable, endemic phase. But they strongly advise people to not deliberately seek infection.

Learn more about Coronavirus here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 19, 2023

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