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Omicron cases doubling in 1.5-3 days in areas with local spread: WHO

Reportedly, the Omicron coronavirus variant has been reported in 89 countries until now.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of cases of the Omicron variant is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community transmission, it said in a statement on Saturday.

“Omicron is spreading rapidly in countries with high levels of population immunity, but it is unclear if this is due to the virus's ability to evade immunity, its inherent increased transmissibility, or a combination of both,” WHO said in an update.

As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year. However, the new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on November 25. On November 26, the global body named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as “Omicron’ and classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.

"There are still limited data on the clinical severity of Omicron," the WHO said. "More data are needed to understand the severity profile and how severity is impacted by vaccination and pre-existing immunity," it added.

Reportedly, the Omicron coronavirus variant has been reported in 89 countries until now.

Meanwhile, India recorded a total of 7,145 new Covid-19 cases and 289 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday morning, whereas, cases of Omicron variant crossed the 100 make in tally in India on Friday affecting 11 states and UTs across the country.

(with agency inputs)

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