The health ministers of the G7 countries reported that the global community is facing the threat of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
“The global community faces the threat of a new, highly contagious variant of COVID-19 that, at first assessment, requires urgent action,” said a joint statement following the meeting of the countries’ health ministers, comprising the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. South Africa’s exemplary work in both detecting the variant and alerting other countries was commended.
In the statement, it was stated that there is strong support for establishing an international pathogen surveillance network within the scope of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the following statements were included:
“Ministers also recognized the strategic importance of ensuring access to vaccines and providing operational assistance. Ministers expressed their determination to continue working closely with WHO and international partners to share information and monitor Omicron in the coming weeks. Ministers pledged to meet again in December.”
It was reported that the B.1.1.529 variant, named “Omicron” by the World Health Organization, was detected on 25 November in the Republic of South Africa.
Many countries, have decided to impose a travel ban on South Africa due to the Omicron variant.