New coronavirus variant Omicron has put the world on high alert, with health officials warning of possible case surges and stretched hospitals, even as scientists scramble to understand this highly mutated strain.The World Health Organization has flagged the variant – reported to the health agency last week – as “very high” risk. Preliminary evidence has suggested that Omicron could dodge immune defences and spread more readily than earlier strains, according to WHO.But the agency has also…

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