Coronavirus test
Coronavirus testDavid Cohen/Flash90

Professor Eran Segal, an expert in mathematics, computer science, and biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, has said he does not believe the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has spread throughout the world.

"There are less than 200 total verified cases of Omicron around the globe," Prof. Segal told Galei Tzahal.

"In South Africa, we see that despite the fact that there is a larger rise in the number of confirmed cases, that perhaps shows that it is more contagious - the number of hospitalized cases is rising at a similar pace to what we saw with the previous variants."

"There is no one tool which can stop the pandemic, but the medications may yet prove to be a nother tool which can help a lot. We're talking about 30% prevention of serious illness with Merck's medication, and maybe even 90% with Pfizer's."

On Tuesday, Channel 12 News reported that initial data showed Omicron does not hold up against the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it also showed that the unvaccinated are at increased risk of serious illness from Omicron, and that the recovered are more likely to contract Omicron than they were to contract Delta.