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November 29, 2021 High alarm and the need to act extremely quickly and with great coordination between countries and peoples. These are the recommendations that come out of the emergency meeting of the G7 health ministers, convened by London as the rotating president. The considerations arising from the meeting leave little room for doubt: the Omicron variant is "highly transmissible" and requires "urgent action", the ministers of health of the G7 countries declared in unison.

"The global community is faced, at a first assessment, with the threat of a very contagious new variant of Covid, which requires prompt action", reads a statement. 

G7 statement

"G7 ministers praised South Africa's exemplary work in both identifying the variant and alerting others. There was strong support for the establishment of an international pathogen surveillance network within the WHO framework." This was reported by the final declaration of the G7 which brought together the ministers of health for an emergency meeting on the Omicron variant. "The ministers - adds the note - also recognized the strategic importance of guaranteeing access to vaccines, including the surge in the uptake of vaccines and the country's willingness to receive and distribute Covid vaccines, providing operational assistance, carrying out our donation commitments and addressing vaccine misinformation, as well as supporting research and development. " The ministers "they pledged to meet again in December ".

Hope: "Support for fragile countries"

"The identification of the Omicron variant in southern Africa confirms the urgent need to do more to vaccinate the population of the most fragile countries, the coordinating role of the UN and WHO will be needed ". This was stated by the Minister of Health, Speranza, speaking at the G7 of the Ministers of Health. "It is not enough to donate doses - continued the Minister - we must concretely support those who do not have structured and capillary health services like ours. We must be sure that the vaccines donated are actually administered and in the most fragile countries, a coordination role will be needed to do so. of the UN and WHO ". 

Kyriakides: "Increase vaccinations"

"Important coordination meeting of G7 health ministers in light of the Omicron variant. We must continue to act quickly to increase vaccination efforts, and increase our protection," writes EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on Twitter, taking part. at the G7 in London. "You have to wear masks and keep social distancing when necessary", he stresses on the measures to deal with the Omicron variant as well.

33 cases in Europe

To date, 33 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in Europe, reports the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc). The reports come from eight countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area, including Italy. All confirmed cases have a history of travel to African countries, the infected are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, is working to organize a summit of the leaders of the 27. The US is "in an advanced state of alert" in the face of the new variant: the White House advisor Anthony said it. Maw.

The WHO alert

The Omicron variant could have "serious consequences" in the long run, warns the WHO.

"The likelihood of Omicron's potential further deployment globally is high," he explains.

Japan and New Zealand lock the borders and Australia does not reopen the borders.

"I expect we will exceed 10,000 cases per day," says South African epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim.

But for Angelique Coetzee, president of the South African medical order, discoverer of the variant, the alarm for Omicron in the world is "excessive" and the reaction "disproportionate".