COVID variant spreads to more countries as world on alert

  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures Saturday as he speaks during a press conference in London, after cases of the new COVID-19 variant were confirmed in the UK. (Hollie Adams/Pool via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more European countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa, leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread.