Omicron quickly overtaking Delta globally: WHO

Omicron is quickly overtaking the Delta variant of Covid and becoming dominant around the world, a senior WHO official has warned, with the global health agency cautioning that there is "increasing evidence" Omicron is able to evade immunity but has less disease severity as compared to other variants.

It could take some time for Omicron to overtake Delta in some countries, because it depends on the level of circulation of the Delta variant in those countries, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and COVID-19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organisation (WHO) Maria Van Kerkhove said on Tuesday.

Omicron has been detected in all countries where we have good sequencing and it's likely to be in all countries around the world. It is quickly, in terms of its circulation, overtaking Delta. And so Omicron is becoming the dominant variant that is being detected, Kerkhove said during a virtual questions and answers session.

She further cautioned that even though there is some information that Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it's not a mild disease because people are still being hospitalized for Omicron.