There's hope -- but still no conclusive evidence -- that the new Omicron variant is more mild than other strains of Covid-19.
More cases are continuing to be recorded across Africa, Europe and North America -- including cases in 15 US states and a sharp rise in cases in Denmark.
The UK is re-introducing pre-departure testing for incoming travellers to contain the variant's spread.
Nigel French, the co-director of the One Health Aotearoa infectious diseases research centre, told Mike Hosking it's still too early to know the seriousness of the strain.
“We’re still lacking a lot of information outside of South Africa of course, and until we know more about the populations that it’s spreading in, it’s difficult to say whether it will be mild.”