Omicron variant continues spreading worldwide

New strain detected in 106 countries, including UK, South Africa, US, as of Monday, says WHO report.

Omicron variant continues spreading worldwide

The omicron strain of the coronavirus continues spreading across the world, with numerous countries reporting new cases of the fast-spreading variant of concern, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The new strain of COVID-19, first detected on Nov. 25 in South Africa, is spreading faster compared to the Delta variant, even in countries where a high level of immunity had been achieved via vaccination, according to the WHO's weekly COVID-19 report released on Monday.

As of Monday, omicron cases have been detected in a total of 106 countries so far.

The UK has registered the most omicron infections, according to the German company Statistica, with as many as 2,957 as of Thursday, followed by South Africa with 1,000 cases, and the US with 321.

Among other European countries, Denmark has counted 213 omicron cases, Switzerland 124, and Belgium 121.

Deaths caused by the variant have only been reported in Israel, the US, and UK, despite a month having passed since the strain was first detected.

Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 5.37 million lives in at least 192 countries and regions, with more than 276.3 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US' Johns Hopkins University.