New York: Omicron, classified as a ‘variant of concern’, seems to be spreading fast and wide. No wonder World Health Organization (WHO) is extremely worried.
The UN health agency said on Monday that the heavily mutated and very highly transmissible coronavirus variant is likely to further spread internationally and poses a very high risk of infection surges that could have “severe consequences” in some countries.
Within days of the new variant being detected in South Africa, Omicron has already been found in 14 other countries.
It was the Delta variant which was mainly instrumental in the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India and third wave in some European nations. But preliminary evidence suggests Omicron variant poses an increased risk of reinfection, compared to other variants of concern including Delta.
The number of Omicron-affected cases appears to be increasing in several provinces in South Africa.
No Omicron-linked death has been reported yet. Research is underway to assess whether it can escape protection against immunity induced by vaccines and previous infections, WHO stated.
Here’s the list of countries where Omicron has been found so far:
South Africa; Botswana; Belgium; Hong Kong; Israel; United Kingdom; The Netherlands; Germany; Czech Republic; Austria; Australia; Italy; Canada; France; Denmark.
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