The Omicron variant has been detected in 89 countries and has a “substantial growth advantage” over the Delta variant, the World Health Organization announced.
State of play: COVID-19 cases detected with the newest variant are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in areas where there is community spread, WHO said.
- “Omicron is spreading rapidly in countries with high levels of population immunity,” said the organization, adding: “given current available data, it is likely that Omicron will outpace Delta where community transmission occurs.”
The big picture: Coronavirus cases are surging across Europe, largely driven by the Omicron variant, leading many countries to impose tighter restrictions in an effort to curb the virus.
- The surge in cases in London, where Omicron has officially replaced Delta, provides a glimpse into what is likely to come for parts of the U.S., Axios’ Caitlin Owens reports.
- Cases in the U.S. are rising rapidly with both New York and Washington, D.C., reported record daily numbers on Friday — and there’s no reason to think they’ve peaked yet, Owens writes.
Go deeper: The UK’s Omicron warning for America