WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
“The world is in a race against time...hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
Those haunting words came from the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at a recent news conference. She was of course, referring to Omicron. Until this new COVID-19 variant arrived, countries were rolling out booster vaccines and Governments thought the worst might be behind us, but with mounting numbers of cases and variants being detected, dozens of countries have decided to close their doors and impose travel restrictions once again.
Omicron has brought Covid complacency to an abrupt end. Masks, social distancing and even lockdowns are returning – and fast. It’s also reopened the debate around mandatory vaccinations.
The World Health Organization continues to lead countries through the many unknowns. So, this week, The Agenda’s Stephen Cole speaks to Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization's Regional Director for Europe to find out what we know about Omicron so far, and what it could mean for vaccines, our health and future freedoms.
MEET THE EXPERT:
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge was appointed the World Health Organization's Regional Director for Europe in February 2020, and originally joined WHO in 1999.
Dr Kluge began his career as a family doctor in Belgium. He qualified in medicine, surgery and obstetrics at the Catholic University of Leuven and has since gained 25 years’ experience in medical practice and public health around the world
He’s also a former Regional TB Advisor to medical relief organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) - Doctors Without Borders in English.
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