The new Omicron variant of coronavirus is likely to pose a very high global risk, and some regions will face "severe consequences" from it.
That's the warning from the WHO's advising countries to accelerate the vaccinations of high priority groups.
13 countries we know now have reported confirmed or probable new cases of the variant,
but what has not been established yet is how transmissible or dangerous it is,
or how effectively the current vaccines will protect against it.
Well, let's hear now from the WHO's Director-General who says the emergence of Omicron means that we can't afford to let our guard down.
The emergence of the highly mutated Omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is.
We shouldn't need another wake-up call. We should all be wide awake to the threat of this virus.
我们需要的不是又一次警钟 。我们都应该充分认识到这种病毒的威胁 。
But Omicron's very emergence is another reminder that although many of us might think we are done with COVID-19, it is not done with us.
We are living through a cycle of panic and neglect.
Hard-won gains could vanish in an instant.
Our most immediate task, therefore, is to end this pandemic.
We don't yet know whether Omicron is associated with more transmission, more severe disease, more risk of reinfections, or more risk of evading vaccines.
Scientists at WHO and around the world are working urgently to answer these questions.