In a new risk-assessment statement, the WHO said that the new coronavirus variant poses such a big threat to the world because it might be more transmissible compared to other strains of the virus.
The variant could likely create more COVID-19 surges around the world and put pressure on health care systems, according to the WHO.
- “The overall global risk related to the new (variant of concern) Omicron is assessed as very high,” the WHO said in a statement.
- “Increasing cases, regardless of a change in severity, may pose overwhelming demands on health care systems and may lead to increased morbidity and mortality,” the WHO said.
- “The impact on vulnerable populations would be substantial, particularly in countries with low vaccination coverage,” according to WHO.
- The WHO said the variant was one of concern due to its potential for high transmissibility.
So far there have been reported cases of omicron across Europe, North America and Africa. The variant was originally discovered in Botswana before South African researchers unveiled new research about the variant to the world.