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Tackling the delta variant is still the World Health Organization’s “priority” while it waits to learn more about the Omicron coronavirus disease, said agency’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan. said On Monday, governments around the world race to contain a potentially vaccine-resistant strain and officials confirm the first cases in North America and Scotland.

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Despite the global uproar over the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, Swaminathan told CNBC that expanding vaccine coverage and the delta variant is still a WHO priority, taking into account the vast majority of COVID-19 cases worldwide – 99% – ” are due to the delta variant. And more deaths are occurring in the unrelated.”

Swaminathan said scientists need more time to understand whether Omicron, which has several related mutations, is a more transmissible variant than Delta, has a different or more severe set of symptoms or evades protection from vaccines or previous infections. able to.

Swaminathan’s remarks follow the identification of the first two Omicron cases in North America on Sunday, when Ottawa officials said Two persons who had recently traveled from Nigeria tested positive.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said The development shows that Canada’s “surveillance system is working” and “it is expected that more cases of this type will be found in Canada” as surveillance and testing continues.

Scottish Government said Six cases of the variant were found on Monday, the first cases identified in Scotland.

french health officer said Eight probable cases of the variant were detected across the country on Sunday, it said, adding that testing was underway to confirm the diagnosis.

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