A top South African scientist says there has been a sharp rise in new cases in COVID-19 as the new variant omicron spreads across the country. But Dr Michelle Groome says more data is needed before any conclusions can be drawn about how infection and dangerous the variant is.
So far omicron has been detected in over two dozen countries. It was first identified in Botswana and South Africa: which has now been cut off from air travel by many nations.
Here in Europe, the variant has been detected in at least thirteen countries, from Norway and Germany in the north, to Italy and Portugal in the south. Researchers say they will need 2 or 3 weeks to work out whether Omicron is more transmissible than the now-dominant Delta strain, resistant to vaccines, or causes more severe symptoms than previous coronavirus variants.
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