Omicron prevented tens of thousands of air passengers from flying around the world

As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus, tens of thousands of air passengers around the world were unable to travel to their destination: companies are forced to cancel flights due to mass hospital care of crew members. From Friday to Sunday, when Westerners celebrate Christmas, nearly 8,000 flights have already been canceled.

The total number of coronavirus victims worldwide has exceeded 5.3 million. According to Agence France-Presse, the largest number of deaths was registered in the United States – 816.5 thousand, followed by Brazil (618 thousand), India (479 thousand) and Russia (304 thousand). The largest number of deaths in relation to the size of the population is in Peru.

The US and China have been hit hardest by the canceled flights. More than 2,000 flights were canceled on Sunday alone, including more than 640 to or from US airports, according to FlightAware. Delta, United and JetBlue accounted for the largest number of canceled flights.

Airlines report that many employees were unable to return to work because they were diagnosed with the coronavirus or were in close contact with people who tested positive.

United Airlines earlier warned that the Omicron outbreak “hit directly the crews and people who support our work.” She added that she is warning passengers not to travel to the airport if their flights are not confirmed. During Sunday, the airline canceled about 100 flights, but said about 25% of affected passengers were able to buy tickets for other planes.

Delays and cancellations are expected to continue during the next business week. According to the FlightAware website, 800 flights are under threat of cancellation on Monday, and about 170 on Tuesday. Lufthansa, British Airways, Alaska Airlines and many others also had to cancel flights. London Heathrow Airport canceled at least 60 flights on Sunday.

USA: lack of tests and traffic chaos

Now “Omicron” – a new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading faster than the previous ones – has become the mainstream in the United States. In recent weeks, more than 175 thousand new cases of the disease have been registered here every day.

Chief US infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci stated that one of the main problems is the lack of covid testing centers. He also promised that this problem will be resolved next month. Throughout Sunday, many people in the United States, including in downtown New York, stood in long lines for tests.

Additional transport difficulties in the United States were caused by storm winds that hit the western part of the country. As a result, Seattle and parts of California were covered with snow.

Harsh quarantine in Xi’an

The most affected airline in the world by Omicron was China’s China Eastern. It, along with another Chinese carrier, Air China, accounted for more than 2,000 canceled flights over the weekend. Most of them are flights from or to the airport of Xi’an in the north of the country.

In this city with a population of more than 13 million people, strict quarantine measures were recently introduced: local residents were ordered not to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. Xi’an recorded 150 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, double the previous day. After that, the authorities forbade residents to open windows and began disinfection.

Chinese authorities are desperate to do their best to ensure that the new coronavirus outbreak does not negatively impact the Beijing Winter Olympics scheduled for February. For this, the so-called “zero tolerance for covid” was introduced, including tight border controls, lengthy quarantines and local lockdowns. However, outbreaks of the disease occur all the same.

Britain: not lockdown yet, but new restrictions are being introduced

Research data released this week in the UK showed that Omicron poses a lower risk of hospitalizations and complications than Delta. So, people who become infected with this mutation need hospital care 50-70% less often.

At the same time, the British Prime Minister said that he would not hesitate to introduce restrictions after Christmas, if necessary. The authorities insist that the large number of infected people could put too serious a burden on the health care system. In addition, due to massive infections, British public services are increasingly facing a shortage of staff, including doctors, public transport drivers and police officers.

In three out of four parts of the United Kingdom (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), stricter restrictive measures have begun, which will cancel most public events and return the mandatory wearing of masks in crowded places. The hospitality industry is hit hardest by the tourism industry, and it has been hit hard over the past two years.

Belgium: anti-lockdown demonstration

Thousands of people took to the streets of the Belgian capital Brussels, protesting against the closure of theaters and cinemas. In their opinion, this makes no sense, given that cafes and restaurants remain open.

Source: GOROD.LV – новости Даугавпилса by

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