After an emergency meeting on Friday, the World Health Organization classified the new COVID variant as a ‘variant of concern,’ and gave it the name omicron.
The new B.1.1.529 variant was first discovered on November 11, 2021 in Botswana, a country just north of South Africa. Since then, it has been detected in South Africa, mostly in the province of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, where the incidence rates are currently about 1,200.
Concern over the variant has prompted several countries to suspend and limit flights from the region.
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