GENEVA, Nov 29 — The new COVID-19 variant Omicron poses a “very high” risk globally, the World Health Organisation warned on Monday.

“If another major surge of COVID-19 takes place driven by Omicron, consequences may be severe,” Anadolu Agency (AA) quoted the agency’s technical note issued to members ahead of a special session.

“Increasing cases, regardless of a change in severity, may pose overwhelming demands on healthcare systems and may lead to increased morbidity and mortality,” the statement read.

It said the overall global risk related to Omicron, which the WHO has already labelled a “variant of concern,” is assessed as “very high.”

The emergence of the new strain, believed to be highly transmissible and already responsible for COVID-19 spikes in some countries, has sparked worldwide panic.

Many governments have rushed to take measures to contain its spread, including closing down borders and bringing back stricter restrictions for local populations.


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