Global health agency says there are ‘still limited data’ on the clinical severity of new variant, which has so far been reported in 89 countries.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading significantly faster than the Delta strain in countries with documented community transmission, with the number of cases doubling in 1.5 to 3 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

In an update on Saturday, the United Nations’ health agency said Omicron has been reported in 89 countries.

The highly mutated variant is spreading rapidly in countries with high levels of population immunity, the WHO said, but it is unclear if this is due to the virus’ ability to evade immunity, its inherent increased transmissibility or a combination of both.

The agency designated

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