By JAMEY KEATEN, RAF CASERT and MARI YAMAGUCHI
GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says the global risk from the omicron variant of the coronavirus is “very high” based on early evidence. The United Nations health agency also says omicron could lead to surges with “severe consequences.” The assessment in a technical paper issued to member states amounted to the WHO’s strongest, most explicit warning yet about the new version, which was first identified days ago by researchers in South Africa. It came as a widening circle of countries reported cases of the variant and moved to slam their doors to some travelers. Meanwhile, scientists are racing to figure out just how dangerous the mutant version might be.