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European Union countries should consider mandatory vaccination to combat Covid and the Omicron variant, the head of its Commission has said.
Ursula von der Leyen said vaccines would be crucial in the fight against the "highly contagious" new variant.
The WHO says a combination of low vaccination coverage across the planet, mixed with very low testing to track the virus, is a fertile breeding ground for new COVID variants.
The World Health Organization has said people who are unwell or vulnerable should delay travel if they are not completely vaccinated.
In its latest travel advisory, the UN agency includes in that category people over 60, and those with conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
And the UN is continuing to call the lockout of several south African countries over the new COVID variant unnecessary and counterproductive.
Countries including Spain, Sweden, Austria and the Czech Republic have confirmed their first cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Fears of the latest coronavirus variant have consumed the world, with cases popping up in ever more countries while experts sought to assess the true nature of the threat.
Dubbed Omicron, there are worries that it could be more contagious and make vaccines less effective.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa was 'deeply disappointed' rich Western countries implemented travel bans after hearing about the new variant Omicron. South Africa may face its fourth wave of COVID-19 as the new omicron variant is driving a rise in infections in the most populated province of Gauteng.
We're back in familiar territory - growing concern about a new variant of coronavirus.
The latest is the most heavily mutated version discovered so far - and it has such a long list of mutations that it was described by one scientist as "horrific", while another told me it was the worst variant they'd seen.
Countries across Europe have confirmed cases of the new coronavirus strain as governments worldwide began restricting travel from southern Africa.
Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, used the Downing Street briefing on Saturday to explain what scientists know so far about the new variant Omicron and why this is causing concern.
Only one in four health workers vaccinated in Africa