GENEVA: A World Health Organization official on Monday called on the world to come together and make the difficult decisions needed to end the Covid-19 epidemic by next year.
As the end-of-year celebrations approach, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was better to cancel events “now and celebrate later than to celebrate now and be sad later.”
“2022 should be the year we end this epidemic.” Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday faced pressure to tighten coronavirus boundaries to prevent a separate Omicron spread, despite opposition to doing so before Christmas.
The UK reported 82,886 cases on Sunday as a new outbreak, with the highest number of diseases in London. “We currently have 104 hospitals based in Omicron, with 12 dead,” Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News.
“There is time for data so we don’t know how difficult it will be,” he said. The UK is one of the countries most affected by the virus in Europe, with 147,128 deaths in the country.
The government has introduced measures such as Covid transmission and made the mask compulsory in various areas and provided more than 28 million people with a third jab in the race to pass the virus. But after Johnson was forced to introduce house negotiations last Christmas, he is under intense political pressure not to do the same.
Last week, nearly 100 in his Parliament rebelled against strong measures to stop the spread of the Omicron, viewing them as a far-fetched step and a hindrance to civil liberties. There was also public outcry over allegations that Johnson and his staff violated antitrust laws that existed last year, by throwing parties at Downing Street and other government departments.
Unlike other British neighbors in Europe, there is no official guide to restricting entertainment to date. The Daily Telegraph on Monday reported that it was possible to tighten the rules and create a “heated debate” between ministers.
The Times said the 10 ministers had clashed with science advisers seeking new frontiers, questioning the accuracy of their modeling. Health Minister Sajid Javid said on Sunday he was not issuing new measures and Raab on Monday said the measures were “always under consideration”. But he said, with the vaccine, “we are in a better position to enjoy Christmas with our loved ones this year”. Moderna Inc said on Monday that the strength of the Covid-19 vaccine appears to protect Omicron’s rapidly growing variation in laboratory tests and that the current version of the vaccine will continue to be “Moderna’s first line of defense in Omicron”.