The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated a new coronavirus variant as “variants of concern” and named it Omicron.

The new variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on Wednesday.

“The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant,” WHO said in a statement.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs, according to the statement.

“The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa,” the statement warned. (ILKHA)

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