Omicron cancels at least 14,000 flights worldwide. 4 points
As Omicron leaves plans cancelled and people unwell, countries have started cancelling flights and issuing fresh restrictions.
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Thousands of flights have been cancelled around the world as countries impose fresh restrictions to battle the threat of Omicron. The US recorded a 39 per cent rise in the seven-day average of Covid cases. Europe is also struggling with a fresh wave of Covid; this time, the Omicron variant; as the virus tears through the population. Omicron is more infectious than Delta and Alpha, that we know by now.
Britain, Denmark, France, Greece and Italy have also recorded high number of new cases. All these countries are cancelling their international flights in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
Here's a quick look at the situation in 4 points.
1. FLIGHTS CANCELLED
People wearing masks in US amidst fresh Omicron fear. Photo: Getty Images
Around 11,500 flights have been cancelled all over the world from December 24 up till December 28, 2021, data from flight tracker agency FlightAware revealed.
According to FlightAware, around 3,000 flights were cancelled on Monday (December 27) and 1,725 flights on Tuesday (December 28) and 2,871 yesterday (December 29).
Cancellations of the flights started before Christmas and airlines such as Delta, United and Jet Blue have said that the Omicron variant was causing staffing issues, because of which they were compelled to cancel flights.
2. STAFFING ISSUES
The US airlines have said that crew members testing positive for the virus has led to cancellations of flights. Omicron has raised the worries of the airlines because the previous Covid wave reduced the staff as air travel collapsed. The situation got better with vaccination and as people felt comfortable flying again. But it all looks grim once again as Omicron travels across the world at lightning speed.
3. BIDEN WORRIED
US President Joe Biden. Photo: Getty Images
American President Joe Biden on Monday said that US hospitals might be overwhelmed with the rising number of new cases, but the administration is prepared to deal with such a surge. For the US, both the Delta and Omicron variants are responsible for disrupting holiday travels, depleting hospital staff and pushing the US into another Covid wave.
As the country heads into the third year of the pandemic, the seven-day average of United States reached 2,67,000 on Tuesday, as per data from the New York Times database.
Rising Omicron cases have raised the concern of Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) becuase it has worsened the labour shortage, medical and travel industry.
Representative image of Covid-19 virus. Photo: Getty Images
The Omicron variant of the Covid-causing coronavirus, technically known as B.1.1.529, was first reported to WHO by South Africa on November 24, 2021, after the country reported rising number of cases and hospitalisation. In India, the first case of Omicron was detected on December 3, 2021. Ever since, India has been reporting a rising number of cases of Omicron even in patients with no travel history.
Today, Omicron is the most rampant Covid strain in the world. The virus is now present in around 38 countries. It has caused a wave of rising cases this week in France, Europe, Britain, Denmark, Greece, Italy and USA. In each country, health officials suspect the Omicon variant as the major cause of hospitalisation.
As New Year celebrations approach, flights all over the world are being cancelled amid rising Omicron fears.