TOKYO: Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases raised its coronavirus variant alert on omicron to the highest level on Sunday.
The institute designated omicron as a variant of concern. Previously, omicron was a variant of interest, the second-highest warning level of its three-tier alert.
Delta is also on the institute’s list of variants of concern.
On Friday, the World Health Organization classified omicron as a variant of concern.
Omicron contains some 30 mutations to the spike protein, which could make it more contagious and resistant to vaccines, according to the Japanese institute.