As the Omicron variety spreads over the world, the World Health Organization has recommended people to cancel some of their holiday plans to protect public health.
“An event postponed is preferable to a life postponed,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, adding that “tough decisions” must be taken.
Several governments have taken steps to slow the spread of the variation, including establishing travel restrictions.
Omicron has taken over in the United States, accounting for 73 percent of new infections. President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak to the nation on Tuesday, but the White House has stated that he will not “lock down the country.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease specialist, had previously warned that even among fully vaccinated people, Christmas travel would enhance the spread of Omicron.
More than 80 countries, including almost all of Europe, are now on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Very High list for Covid-19.
France and Germany are among the countries enacting travel restrictions in response to Omicron, while the Netherlands has implemented a rigorous lockdown throughout the holiday season.
As the number of Omicron cases increased in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated on Monday that the government needed to “reserve the option” of enacting new measures, but he did not announce any new limits.
Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that New Year’s Eve events in London’s Trafalgar Square had been canceled “in the interests of public safety.”
New Zealand, however, postponed its staggered reopening to foreign travel until at least the end of February.
The WHO has classified Omicron, which was initially discovered in South Africa in November, as a “variant of concern.”
Dr. Tedros stated there was no evidence that the variant was “spreading considerably quicker” than the previous dominant type, Delta, at a press conference on Monday. The WHO also stated that assuming Omicron was a milder form based on early evidence would be “unwise.”
According to Dr. Tedros, “This pandemic has made us all sick. We all want to spend time with our loved ones.
We all want things to return to normal “.. However, he stated that everyone, including “leaders and individuals,” had to make difficult decisions in order to safeguard people, which included canceling or delaying events.
“It’s better to postpone now and grieve later than to postpone now and grieve later,” Dr. Tedros stated. He also predicted that the pandemic may be over by 2022 if 70 percent of the world’s population was vaccinated by the middle of next year.
He also stated that China, where the outbreak is suspected to have started in 2019, must share more information on the outbreak’s origins in order to aid future pandemic strategy.