Omicron variant

WHO expects more information on Omicron transmission ‘within days’

Reuters
WHO expects more information on Omicron transmission ‘within days’

FILE PHOTO: Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis at the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks during a news conference on the situation of the coronavirus at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

The World Health Organization says it is not yet known if Omicron makes people more ill

GENEVA, Switzerland – The World Health Organization expects to have more information on the transmissibility of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus within days, its technical lead on COVID-19, Maria van Kerkhove, said in a briefing on Wednesday, December 1.

That was faster than the “weeks” the WHO had predicted last week that it would take to assess the data available on the variant after designating it a “variant of concern”, its highest rating.

She said one possible scenario was that the new variant, which was first reported in southern Africa, may be more transmissible than the dominant Delta variant.

She said it was not yet known if Omicron makes people more ill.

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