Omicron Strain to Hinder World Economy Revival, WTO Director-General Says
22:48 GMT 08.12.2021 (Updated: 22:58 GMT 08.12.2021)
© AP Photo / Fabrice CoffriniThe shadow of a sculpture is reflected on the World Trade Organisation, WTO sign near the entrance of the headquarters, in Geneva (File)
© AP Photo / Fabrice Coffrini
GENEVA (Sputnik) - Recently detected Omicron coronavirus variant will slow a revival of world economy unless unequal access to vaccines is resolved, the World Trade Organization Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Wednesday.
"I believe that the Omicron strain will slow the recovery," the director general said during a press conference organized by Politico Europe.
She named unequal access to COVID-19 vaccines among countries and nationals as the main reason for such development.
"If we do not put much efforts to resolve the issue, the difficulties will continue to occur, which sooner or later will pose a significant threat to a sustainable recovery of the world economy," she said.
The World Health Organization during an emergency meeting on November 26 designated the new COVID-19 strain as "Variant of Concern" and called it Omicron. The variant first originated in South Africa and is spreading around the world with more and more countries reporting on Omicron cases. The spread of Omicron prompted many countries to close borders for foreigners arriving from Africa regardless of whether they hold a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative coronavirus test.