WHO Urges Canceling some Holiday Events over Omicron Fears –

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Addis Ababa, December 21, 2021 (Walta) – The World Health Organization has urged people to cancel some of their holiday plans to protect public health as the Omicron variant spreads globally.

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“An event canceled is better than a life canceled,” said WHO head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that “difficult decisions” must be made.

“In some cases, that will mean canceling or delaying events,” he said.

His comments came as health experts declared Omicron is now the dominant variant in the US.

Dr. Tedros added that there was no evidence that the variant “is spreading significantly faster than… Delta”.

A number of countries – including France and Germany – have tightened Covid restrictions and imposed travel curbs to try to halt the spread of the new variant. The Netherlands has introduced a strict lockdown over the Christmas period.

The White House said on Monday that President Joe Biden was not planning on “locking the country down”. The country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, earlier warned that Christmas travel would increase the spread of Omicron even among the fully vaccinated.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department have advised Americans against travel to eight places including Spain, Finland, Chad, and Lebanon.

Bonaire, Monaco, San Marino, and Gibraltar have also been added to its Level 4: Very High classification.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the government needed to “reserve the possibility” of bringing in new rules in England as Omicron cases surged, but did not announce further restrictions.

New Year’s Eve celebrations in London’s Trafalgar Square have been canceled “in the interests of public safety”, Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

Omicron – first detected in South Africa in November – has been classed as a “variant of concern” by the WHO, according to BBC.


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