Covid-19: WHO expects to have more information on Omicron transmission ‘within days’

It is unknown whether the new strain makes people more ill

Reuters file
Reuters file

By Reuters

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 7:59 PM

The World Health Organisation expects to have more information on the transmissibility of the new Omicron variant of the cornavirus within days, its technical lead on Covid-19, Maria van Kerkhove, said in a briefing on Wednesday.

That was faster than the “weeks” the WHO had predicted last week that it would take to assess the data available on the variant after designating it a “variant of concern”, its highest rating.


She said one possible scenario was that the new variant, which was first reported in southern Africa, may be more transmissible than the dominant Delta variant. She said it was not yet known if Omicron makes people more ill.

More news from coronavirus