The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged people to cancel holiday plans to protect public health, as the Omicron variant is spreading globally.
“An event cancelled is better than a life cancelled,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, adding that “difficult decisions” must be made.
A number of countries have acted to try to halt the spread of the variant, including imposing travel curbs.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa in November and has been classed as a “variant of concern” by the WHO.
Dr. Tedros said there was now evidence that the variant was “spreading significantly faster” than the previous dominant version, Delta.
According to WHO, it would be “unwise” to conclude from early evidence that Omicron was a milder variant,
All of us are sick of this pandemic and would want to spend time with family and friends. All of us want to get back to normal, but leaders and individuals had to make difficult decisions to protect people, including by cancelling or delaying events,
said Dr. Tedros
“It’s better to cancel now and celebrate later than to celebrate now and grieve later. The pandemic could be ended in 2022 – if 70% of the population of every country of the world was vaccinated by the middle of next year,” expressed Dr. Tedros WHO Director General said that China where the outbreak is believed to have started in 2019, must provide more data on the origins, to help with future policy on tackling pandemics.