The health ministers of the Group of Seven countries warned that the “Omicron” mutant of the Corona virus is “the greatest current threat to public health in the world,” and the unvaccinated US President warned of a winter “full of severe illness and death.”
And the health ministers of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan said in a statement issued after their last meeting under the British presidency of the group, that they were "very concerned about the increase in the number of infections" with the new mutation.
The statement added that the "key" to confronting "a situation that is developing very rapidly" lies in "closer cooperation than ever before" as well as "data monitoring and sharing", stressing their commitment (...) to combating the current pandemic and building defenses for the future.
Emphasizing in their statement that "working together is crucial to countering the rapidly spreading Omicron wave", the ministers stressed the importance of "equitable access to diagnosis and genome sequencing" as well as to vaccines and treatments.
With regard to vaccines, the ministers stressed the importance of “booster-dose vaccination campaigns” as well as the need for these campaigns to be accompanied by “regular checks” and “non-pharmaceutical” measures.
Biden during a meeting devoted to researching the Covid-19 pandemic (Reuters)
Warning and confirmation
This comes as US President Joe Biden warned Thursday that the mutated Omicron "will start an outbreak much faster in the United States," calling on his citizens to receive anti-virus vaccines, including the booster dose, because winter will bring "severe disease and death" to the unvaccinated.
"The only real protection is that you get vaccinated," Biden said.
The US President made this statement at the end of a meeting devoted to researching the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the wake of it summoned journalists accredited to the White House in order to "deliver a direct message to the Americans."
Biden's statement came after White House Deputy spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre confirmed that the administration does not currently intend to take specific restrictive measures, and instead prefers to focus its efforts on convincing the largest segment of the population to be vaccinated against the virus.
The United States currently records an average of 1,150 deaths per day from Covid-19, according to figures released by the CDC.
The vast majority of people who are currently dying from the virus in the United States are people who are not immune.
To date, about 72 percent of the US population has received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines, which is lower than that recorded in many other countries.
And the United States - according to official figures - is the country most affected by the pandemic in terms of deaths (more than 800,000 deaths), ahead of Brazil, India, Mexico and Russia.
The United States, according to official figures, is the country most affected by the pandemic (French)
Deaths and fears
To date, the pandemic has claimed the lives of at least 5.3 million people around the world since it began at the end of 2019, according to a census prepared by Agence France-Presse last Tuesday based on official sources.
But the World Health Organization estimates that the actual number of deaths is 2-3 times higher.
In light of these fears, the director of the US National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, announced that Omicron is the most spreadable of the recorded mutant from the Corona virus, noting that doubling the number of infections with it takes only 3 days.
He pointed out that the number of "delta" infections decreased after the jump that was recorded last summer, and the growth has resumed in recent weeks, from about 70,000 infections per day to about 115 thousand infections within 24 hours.
In order to address the outbreak of the virus, the Finnish government has tightened entry requirements from certain countries, in light of the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe.
Travelers coming to Finland from countries outside the European Union and the visa-exempt Schengen area will have to show a negative test result for the Corona virus no more than 24 hours before arrival from December 21, even if they have received the vaccination.
Help and gratitude
In a context related to the fight against the pandemic, Portugal has offered to help Germany care for patients with the Corona virus, according to media reports.
"Portugal has expressed its readiness to support Germany in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, whether by hosting patients in intensive care units in Portugal or by sending a team of doctors and nurses to Germany," the newspaper "Publico" quoted a spokesman for the Portuguese Foreign Ministry in Lisbon as saying.
Portugal, which has one of the highest vaccination rates against the coronavirus in the world, wants to show gratitude for Germany's help in treating coronavirus patients at the beginning of the year.Keywords: