France reports 12 cases of Omicron variant

France has reported 12 cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
France has reported 12 cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The French Health Ministry says there are 12 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the mainland of France, up from nine reported earlier in the day.

The new variant - which the World Health Organisation said carries a "very high" risk of infection - could become the dominant strain of the virus in France by the end of January, according to the government's top scientific adviser.

France is currently grappling with a fifth wave of COVID-19 disease, which has strained the country's hospital system.

Australian Associated Press