Stratford News New COVID-19 variant deemed variant of concern by World Health Organization SHARE ON: My Stratford Now Staff, staff Friday, Nov. 26th, 2021 (Supplied by Pixabay) The World Health Organization has classified the new COVID-19 strain found in South Africa as a variant of concern. WHO officials made the call on Friday designating it the fifth variant of concern across the globe. In a statement, the organization says it has called it the Greek letter Omicron. The WHO is warning this new variant is more transmissible and the risk of reinfection from it is higher than the other VOC’s. They warn the number of cases is increasing in all provinces in South Africa. The WHO is asking all countries to escalate their surveillance and report any cases or clusters of Omicron infection.