Biden’s warning about the winter came as he urged Americans who have already had two shots to get boosters, and vaccine sceptics to step up and get jabbed.
Washington: US President Joe Biden on Thursday warned of a “winter of serious illness and death” for those who have not been vaccinated against Covid19, with the G7 calling the Omicron variant the greatest threat to public health global.
The harsh words came as Britain saw more than 88,000 Covid19 infections, a second consecutive record daily number, prompting France to impose new “drastic” limits on travel to the UK.
Scientists remain uncertain whether the highly mutated variant of Omicron is dangerous, but early data suggests it may be more vaccine resistant and more transmissible than the Delta variant.
The World Health Organization said earlier this week that the strain had been reported in 77 countries and had “probably” spread to most undetected countries at a faster rate than any previous variant of the virus.
Countries around the world have started advising against overseas travel as they increase national restrictions to tackle the Micron and bolster vaccination efforts.
The G7 on Thursday called the variant “the current major threat to global public health,” saying its emergence meant it was “more important than ever” for countries to cooperate closely and share data.
At a meeting hosted by the group’s UK chairman, country health ministers stressed “the growing importance of regular recall and testing campaigns,” according to a statement.
Biden’s warning about winter came when he urged Americans who have already had two shots to get boosters and vaccine skeptics to come forward and get caught.
“The only real protection is to get vaccinated,” he said, with the White House saying the administration did not intend to take specific restrictive measures, but would instead focus on vaccination.
“We know that the tools we have are working,” said White House Vice President Karine JeanPierre, adding: “We will continue to move forward …immunize and empower Americans. The toughest country in the world, the United States, currently records an average of 1,150 deaths from Covid19 per day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
During the first two weeks of December, the average daily number of cases of infection in the United States increased by 35%. It was on the other side of the Atlantic, however, that the scale of the threat was felt greatest, even as Britain ceased to impose formal limits on socialization as it did so. as the government awaits further evidence of Omicron’s seriousness Last year, Christmas celebrations were drastically cut back after the Alpha variant wiped out the country.
The British had hoped this year would be different, but cases have once again reached record levels. Now we fear. that this can overwhelm hospitals during the holiday season and many Brits are scrambling to change their plans. Queen Elizabeth II has canceled her traditional family lunch before Christ next week as a precautionary measure, although Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said such meetings could still continue.
The Premier League postponed six more football matches on Thursday, although it said it intended to “continue with its current fixture list as safely as possible”.With cases exploding in Britain, France on Thursday banned all non-essential travel to and from the UK. From 23:00 GMT on Friday, travelers will need “one essential reason for traveling to or from the UK, for both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated … People cannot travel for tourism or business reasons Canada has also urged its citizens to avoid overseas travel over the Christmas holidays, with Health Minister JeanYves Duclos saying the Omicron variant “makes us fear the worst.”
Dominant in the bloc as early as next month . But leaders are struggling to forge a united approach to stop the spread. Omicron is “of course of great concern” in terms of this variant’s ability to spread rapidly and put pressure on our societies and health systems. ” Irish Prime Minister Michael Mar Tin told reporters in Brussels. “So today we will ‘seek greater coordination on several fronts,” he said. The Spanish government meanwhile said the boosters will soon be available for everyone aged 40 and over, up from the current 65.European drug regulators on Thursday approved Pfizer’s Covid19 pill for emergency use by member states struggling with the new wave of coronavirus.