NEW YORK: The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is at least 40 percent more lethal than seasonal flu, U.S. news outlet Pharmaceutical Technology has reported. Citing Japanese scientists, the report on Thursday underscored the potential danger of lifting pandemic curbs too quickly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidelines late February, allowing most Americans to unmask indoors. Some health experts in the country have urged the public not to let down guard against COVID-19 entirely. COVID-19 cases in the United States have passed 79 million, with a nationwide death toll topping 954,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data.