Geneva / London – ‘There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues & wars take people equally by surprise. The emergence of the highly-mutated Omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is. We should be wide awake to the threat of this virus,’ said Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). He also warned that the risk of an Omicron variant spreading has increased. The WHO has also warned that some parts of the world would face serious consequences through this variant.
On Monday, the WHO had conducted a special meeting in the wake of the fatal Omicron variant, which surfaced last week. The organization expressed concern about the new variant in this meeting. Moreover, the WHO claimed, the new Omicron variant has undergone many mutations with the increased risk of it spreading globally. The Health Association also expressed fear that the spread of Omicron due to mutations could lead to a large increase in the scope of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO, claimed that the new variant has shown that the Coronavirus pandemic is not over. ‘We are living through a cycle of panic and neglect. Hard-won gains could vanish in an instant. Our most immediate task, therefore, is to end this pandemic,’ said the WHO Chief. ‘Omicron demonstrates just why the world needs a new accord on pandemics,’ also said Ghebreyesus.
Meanwhile, the number of countries where the Omicron variant has spread has increased to 15. It includes South Africa, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, France and Canada. A possibility of the patient with a new variant has been predicted in the US as well; the health system has issued a new alert.
The spread of Omicron has provoked strong reactions to restrictions imposed on international air travel. Most countries have announced a total ban on flights from South Africa. South Africa has expressed deep disappointment over the ban, saying it was unjustified. Restrictions on travelling will prove to be a new blow, warned air travel, as well as the tourism sector companies. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a part of the United Nations, has warned that the tourism sector may lose a staggering $1 trillion this year. At this time, information was also imparted that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the global tourism sector was hit by about $2 trillion last year.