Omicron to infect more than half of Europe: WHO

Geneva: More than half of the European population are expected to be infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant within the next six to eight weeks, the World Health Organization’s top Europe official said on Tuesday.

Europe saw more than 7 million newly reported Covid-19 cases in the first week of 2022, more than doubling over a two-week period, the WHO’s Europe director Hans Kluge told a news briefing.

At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that more than 50% of the population in the region will be infected with Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks, Kluge said.

Meanwhile, Libya’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Omar Katti met with the head of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority Mustafa Ammar to discuss coordination to lift the no-fly zone embargo imposed on the country by the UN Security Council in 2011.

The Undersecretary stressed the importance of providing political and technical support for speeding up the lifting of the no-fly zone embargo, the Foreign Ministry said a statement.

Ammar confirmed that the aviation authority under the UN-backed government has been seeking cooperation with air companies from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria and Turkey, reports Xinhua news agency.

The two officials agreed to visit some European countries to discuss resuming international flights, the statement added.

In March 2011, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, establishing a ban on all Libyan airspace in order to protect civilians during the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

 

Agency