Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation
Several countries, including the U.S., Japan and Israel, have announced travel restrictions to avoid the mass spread of the latest COVID variant.Germany's Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration said Saturday that an individual who traveled to Germany from South Africa is suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) indefinitely postponed a meeting of its members' ministers on Friday over the new COVID-19 variant omicron. © Getty Images WTO postpones key ministers meeting over omicron variant
The WTO announced the decision late on Friday saying new travel restrictions due to new COVID-19 variants "would have prevented many ministers from reaching Geneva."
"Given these unfortunate developments and the uncertainty that they cause, we see no alternative but to propose to postpone the Ministerial Conference and reconvene it as soon as possible when conditions allow," General Council Chair Dacio Castillo of Honduras said in the announcement.
With trade meeting on hold, the US needs to get serious about WTO reform
The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is now on hold. Concerns about a new strain of COVID-19 detected in South Africa led the WTO to pause this meeting of trade ministers, not least because of the travel restrictions imposed by Geneva.More time may turn out to be a blessing. The WTO needs wins. A fisheries deal could put wind back in the WTO's sails. But in reality, nothing shy of the US getting serious about WTO reform will save the institution. This means, first and foremost, explaining the conditions under which the U.S. would unblock the Appellate Body (AB). United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai says the U.S.
"I trust that you will fully appreciate the seriousness of the situation," he added, noting
"This has not been an easy recommendation to make," Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said, adding "my priority is the health and safety of all MC12 participants - ministers, delegates and civil society. It is better to err on the side of caution."
The meeting, scheduled for next week, would have been the first meeting of the ministers in four years, according to Reuters. Among the items at the top of the agenda were curbing fishing subsidies and expanding access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting Friday regarding the new coronavirus variant found in South Africa. The strain, named omicron, was labeled a "variant of concern" (VOC).
Fauci Says COVID Could Be Controlled Not Eliminated With Vaccines Amid Omicron Spread .
"Better control is what I think we need to look for and then we can get back to some form of normality to our lives," Dr. Anthony Fauci said."I don't think there's a chance you're going to eradicate this because we've only eradicated one virus for humans in history and that was smallpox. Elimination is tough," he said on Friday during a TV appearance with Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network. "I'm not so sure we're going to be able to do that, at least not in the near future. That's aspirational.