On Friday, Dec. 10, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the Omicron variant has been identified in at least 38 countries but no deaths have been reported.
The WHO is cautious in determining how contagious the variant is, whether it causes more severe sickness, and the efficacy of therapies and vaccines against it might take weeks.
“We’re going to get the answers that everybody out there needs,” said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan, as the Guardian reported.
Meanwhile, the new variant’s rapid growth has prompted predictions that it will be responsible for more than half of all Covid cases in Europe in the coming months.
Researchers in South Africa discovered that this new variant is three times more likely to induce reinfection than Delta or Beta strains, according to a preliminary study published on Nov. 24. The Omicron infection has led to 3 million cases in South Africa.
The United States and Australia have now confirmed locally transmitted variant infections.
As of Friday, Dec. 10, six additional states in the United States had verified Omicron variant infections.
Omicron’s first cases were recorded in New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Utah. California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, and New York are among the states where it has been discovered.
Three students from Sydney, Australia, tested positive for the variation on Friday, Dec. 10. Non-citizens are no longer allowed to enter the country, and restricted flights from southern Africa.
The new Omicron variant has been detected in 15 people in Canada, most of whom have recently traveled abroad.
Officials in Norway said at least 13 Covid-19 patients with minor symptoms had the Omicron type. They earlier attended an office Christmas party in Oslo.
Three additional cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in South Korea.
On Friday, Malaysia reported the first Omicron infection in an international student who arrived on Nov. 19 from South Africa. The first case of Omicron affections was also confirmed in Sri Lanka, involving a citizen returning from South Africa.
Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro’s comments against the Covid-19 vaccine have prompted a probe by a supreme court justice in Brasil.
The Brazilian president claimed that all he did was to mention an article from the ‘Exame’ magazine and not speculating. Bolsonaro refuses to implement forced vaccination, and he himself has not received the shot.
Despite calls from a Senate committee, the country’s top prosecutor, Augusto Aras, has not initiated an inquiry into Bolsonaro’s pandemic management.