Omicron Variant Reaches North America, Global Risk Remains ‘Very High’

The newly identified Omicron coronavirus variant reached North America on Sunday, Canadian officials revealed.

The variant has not yet been found in the United States although the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) called the variant a “very high” global risk.

“We continue to urge the federal government to take the necessary steps to mandate point-of-arrival testing for all travelers irrespective of where they’re coming from to further protect against the spread of this new variant,” Ontario health officials wrote.

The variant has so far revealed itself in Australia, England, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Belgium. Other nations have instituted travel restrictions, including Israel, Thailand, and the United States.

The W.H.O. has called the new strain a “very high” risk to nations due to its “unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerning for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic.”

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