Omicron Keeps World Jittery As More Information Drips Out

People queue for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations in the Wizink Center in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Health authorities in the Spanish capital have confirmed a second case of the omicron coronavirus variant in a 61-year-old woman who had returned from a trip to South Africa on Monday. (AP Photo/Paul White)

(AP) — The coronavirus’s omicron variant kept a jittery world off-kilter Wednesday as reports of infections linked to the mutant strain cropped up in more parts of the globe, and one official said that the wait for more information on its dangers felt like “an eternity.” At the same time, the dominant delta variant continued to unsettle nations, especially in Europe. Many there are still dealing with a surge in infections and hospitalizations and some are considering mandatory vaccinations.

Much is still unknown about omicron, including how contagious it is. But governments have nevertheless rushed to impose restrictions they hoped would keep it out — moves that appeared increasingly futile. Wednesday brought the first cases in West Africa and the Gulf region.


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