The WHO Says Omicron Is A 'Very High Global Risk' & Here's How Far The Variant Has Spread
"We should be wide awake to the threat of this virus."
Every country in the world should be watching out for the Omicron variant.
That’s according to the latest update from the World Health Organization, which warned on Monday that the newest variant of COVID-19 poses a risk to everyone and that stopping travellers will not be enough to keep it out.
“The overall global risk related to the new variant […] is assessed as very high,” the WHO said in a technical briefing. The organization also noted, however, that "the evidence for this assessment contains considerable uncertainty and will be updated as more information becomes available."
"We should be wide awake to the threat of this virus," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a meeting about the new variant.
Omicron started setting off alarm bells in South Africa last Wednesday, and in less than a week, it’s become a named variant of concern on the WHO's global watch list.
"If another major surge of COVID-19 takes place driven by Omicron, consequences may be severe," the WHO said.
Many countries have closed their borders to travellers from infected areas, although Dr. Tedros said the virus will "inevitably land on their shores."
Cases had been detected in over a dozen countries on five continents as of Monday morning.
The locations with reported cases are:
- South Africa
- The United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
Officials are worried about this variant because it has a large number of mutations, meaning it has a lot of new traits that set it apart from other COVID variants such as Delta. Delta was the last notable variant to go global earlier this year after it proved to spread more quickly than earlier instances of the virus.
The WHO says vaccines likely still offer some protection against severe disease and death related to Omicron.
No deaths have been linked to Omicron as of Monday morning, the WHO says.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
- Canada Reports 2 Cases Of The New Heavily Mutated Omicron ... ›
- The Omicron COVID-19 Variant Has Been Identified In These ... ›
- Omicron Is The Newest COVID Variant's Name & It's Giving The ... ›
- Canada's Travel Restrictions Are Being Updated Once Again Due To The Omicron Variant - Narcity ›
- Canada's Guidance On Booster Doses Could Change Because Of The Omicron Variant - Narcity ›
- Travelling Between Canada & The US Could Get Harder Due To The Omicron Variant - Narcity ›
- We're All Trying To Say 'Omicron' Now So Here Are The Right & Wrong Ways To Pronounce It - Narcity ›
- The US Reported Its First Omicron Variant Case & Fauci Says It Was 'Just A Matter Of Time' - Narcity ›
- A Case Of The Omicron Variant Has Just Been Reported In The GTA - Narcity ›
- Pfizer Says Omicron Can Beat 2 Vaccine Doses But A Third Shot Will 'Neutralize' It - Narcity ›
- Pfizer Says A Booster Can ‘Neutralize’ Omicron & 2 Doses May Not ‘Maximize’ Protection - Narcity ›
- Over 60% Of Canadians Are In Favour Of Closing The US Border Again Due To Omicron Variant ›
- Kingston Area Limits Gatherings To 5 People & Adds More Restrictions As Omicron Cases Rise - Narcity ›
- The WHO Says We Underestimate Omicron 'At Our Peril' & The COVID Variant Is Spreading Fast - Narcity ›
- The WHO Is Now Urging Everyone To Cancel Their Holiday Plans Due To Omicron - Narcity ›
- Omicron Is Forcing Airlines To Cancel Christmas Flights & Thousands Of People Are Grounded - Narcity ›
- The CDC Just Cut COVID-19 Quarantine & Isolation Times Based On The Omicron Variant - Narcity ›
- Ontario Says Omicron Currently Has 54% Less Risk Than Delta For Death & Hospitalization - Narcity ›
- The WHO Chief Is 'Confident' We Can End The Pandemic In 2022 & Here's What Needs To Happen - Narcity ›
- Emmanuel Macron Says France's COVID Strategy Is To 'Piss Off' The Unvaccinated - Narcity ›
- 'Flurona' Is A Combo Of COVID With The Flu & Multiple Cases Have Been Reported - Narcity ›
- The WHO Reported A 'Tsunami' Of New COVID Cases As Omicron Set A Global Record - Narcity ›
- Doctors Are Calling Out A 'Deltacron' Report & They Don't Buy It As A COVID 'Super Variant' - Narcity ›