The World Health Organization (WHO) announced a new variant of coronavirus calling it ‘of concern’ and named it ‘Omicron’, BBC reported.

Omicron had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk, the WHO said.

It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel.

A number of countries have now decided to ban or restrict travel to and from southern Africa.

Travelers from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini will not be able to enter the UK unless they are UK or Irish nationals, or UK residents.

US officials said flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi would be blocked, mirroring earlier moves taken by the. It will come into effect on Monday.

The COVID-19 outbreak started from China in 2019 have killed over 5.2 million people in the world and over 260 million cases were reported till date globally.

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