VIENNA — The omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in 89 countries and is spreading rapidly even in places with high levels of population immunity, the World Health Organization said Saturday.
WHO stated that COVID-19 cases with omicron are increasing in frequency every 1.5 to 3 day in countries where the variant is transmitted in community and not only in infected individuals from overseas.
Omicron’s “substantial growth advantage” over the delta variant means it is likely to soon overtake delta as the dominant variant in those countries, the U.N. health agency said.
WHO stated that it is not clear if the rapid increase in omicron cases could be due to the fact that the variant is more transmissible than other variants or both.
The effectiveness of each COVID-19-vaccinated against omicron remains a major question. The health agency stated that no conclusive data is available on the effects of omicron on COVID-19 patients.
WHO was the first to label omicron as a concern variant on Nov. 26, 1996