The International Monetary Fund is likely to lower its global economic growth estimates due to the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the global lender's chief said.

Iran PressAmerica: The International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva expects the organization to pare back its expectations for the global economic rebound as the number of Covid-19 cases attributable to the new omicron strain picks up.

“We are likely to see some downgrades of our October projections for global growth," Georgieva said at a conference hosted by Reuters Friday. New strains of the coronavirus “very rapidly can dent confidence," she said.

The Washington-based IMF in October predicted that the global economy would expand 4.9% next year. For 2021, it had trimmed its outlook to 5.9%. 

Omicron has spread rapidly to at least 40 countries since it was first reported in South Africa last week, officials say, and many governments have tightened travel rules to try to keep it out. 219