【明報專訊】Omicron, a COVID-19 variant, has spread globally, and the number of daily confirmed cases has risen sharply in many countries. The relatively low rates of severe illness and mortality of Omicron make it easy for people to underestimate its threats. However, it is highly transmissible — even more so than Delta, the previous variant. As a result, the number of confirmed cases has skyrocketed. Even though not many of the infected people needed to be hospitalised, the great number of patients could still overwhelm the healthcare system and seriously affect normal economic activities. Countries like the UK have scrambled to tighten pandemic restrictions, highlighting the severity of the pandemic situation.