Omicron: New COVID Variant in South Africa Nov 30, 2021 19:21:06 GMT
Post by Admin on Nov 30, 2021 19:21:06 GMT
Omicron variant drives fears of potential new COVID-19 wave
ABC News contributor Dr. John Brownstein speaks on the effectiveness of the vaccine and COVID-related mandates after the omicron variant became present in more than a dozen countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Omicron coronavirus variant poses a high risk of infection surges around the globe.
The variant could lead to severe consequences in some regions, the WHO said on Monday.
The head of the organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, renewed a call for a global push to get vaccines to poorer nations.
Covid-19 is "not done with us" yet he warned.
The variant was detected in South Africa earlier this month with initial evidence suggesting it has a higher re-infection risk. South Africa has been praised for its prompt reporting of the variant.
"Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerning for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic," the WHO said.
Cases have already been reported in a number of countries including Canada, the UK, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The new variant has prompted the UK, EU and US to issue a travel ban on Southern African countries - a decision criticised by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Japan has announced it is closing its borders to new foreign visitors from midnight on Tuesday, while Australia has paused its long-awaited plan to ease border restrictions.
Travel into Australia for international students and "skilled workers" holding visas was meant to re-start on Wednesday but has now been delayed until 15 December.
Israel has also banned foreigners from entering the country.