- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Omicron Disrupts Holiday Plans of Millions as Thousands of Flights Cancelled or Delayed Worldwide

© REUTERS / DIEU-NALIO CHERYPassengers walk at John F. Kennedy International Airport after airlines announced numerous flights were cancelled during the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant on Christmas Eve in Queens, New York City, U.S., 24 December 2021.
Passengers walk at John F. Kennedy International Airport after airlines announced numerous flights were cancelled during the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant on Christmas Eve in Queens, New York City, U.S., 24 December 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.12.2021
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Pilots, flight attendants and other staff who ensure all operations at airports have been falling ill or have had to self-isolate following exposure to COVID's newest strain, dubbed Omicron.
At least 5,700 flights have been cancelled worldwide and thousands more were delayed over Christmas weekend, the Flightware.com tracking website reported on Saturday.
On Friday, there were some 2,400 cancellations and 11,000 delays, while Christmas Day cancellations have already reached 800, the website specified.
This comes as employees at numerous airline companies, including pilots and flight attendants at Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines, and many others have been calling in sick or had to self-isolate after contact with a COVID-positive person.
The cancellations and delays have disrupted the Christmas plans of millions of people who had planned to reunite with their families for the holidays after not being able to do so last year due to stricter coronavirus restrictions that were in place in most countries worldwide.
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