Omicron cancels thousands of flights worldwide as it launches Christmas plans

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Omicron cancels thousands of flights worldwide as it launches Christmas plans

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Omicron cancels thousands of flights worldwide as it launches Christmas plans



Over 4,500 flights were cancelled by Commercial Airlines around the World over Christmas weekend due to increasing Covid infections caused by the Omicron variation. This created more uncertainty for holidaymakers and added misery.



On Friday, at least 2,401 flights were cancelled by airlines around the world. This falls on Christmas Eve, which is a busy day for travel . A running count on FlightAware.com shows that nearly 10,000 additional flights were also delayed.



According to the website, 1,779 Christmas Day flights had been cancelled worldwide. There were also 402 Sunday flights.



The majority of canceled flights this weekend were due to commercial air traffic, FlightAware data shows.



United Airlines and Delta Air Lines were among the first US airlines to report holiday weekend cancellations. They cited staff shortages due to the surge in Covid infections.



Covid cases have risen in the United States due to Omicron, a highly transmissible variant. It was first identified in November. In some areas such as the Eastern Seaboard, it can account for as high as 90% of the cases.



 



Over the past week, the average number of coronavirus-related cases in the US has increased by 45 percent to 179,000.



New York had more than 44,000 new infections in Friday, breaking the state's daily record. At most 10 other states have set new one-day records for Friday or Thursday.



Healthcare systems in the US Midwest were particularly affected by rising hospitalizations. ICUs in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan are bracing for worse despite being under pressure from a previous wave of Delta variant patients.



Many industries and transport networks in Britain were experiencing staff shortages due to sick workers being isolated. Hospitals have warned that this could lead to a decrease in patient safety.



Last week, one in twenty Londoners was affected by Covid. This number could rise to one per 10 by next week according to data released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.



On Friday, the government data showed that there were 122,186 new infections in the country, a record number. This marks the third consecutive day when the number of cases has exceeded 100,000.



Recent research has shown that Omicron causes milder illnesses and lower rates of hospitalizations than other Covid variants. However, officials in the health sector remain cautious about this outlook.



Jenny Harries, the head of the UK Health Security Agency said that there is some Christmas hope, but not enough to downgrade the serious threat.



France set a new Covid infection record Friday with a daily count of 94,000. Hospitalizations for the virus rose seven months ago, prompting the government's special meeting to discuss Monday and possible new restrictions on public health.



In spite of the grim news and uncertainties around the globe, millions of Americans continued to plan their travels through the second pandemic-clouded holiday period.



Moses Jimenez from Long Beach, Mississippi flew to New York along with his wife and children. Despite the recent outbreak of coronavirus, they were unable to catch a Broadway show of "Hamilton" nor visit any museums.



"Hamilton", one of the dozen productions that had to cancel this week, was cancelled because cast and crew members were positive for Covid.



Museums were removed from the family's travel itinerary as many require proof of vaccination. The two younger children are not eligible for the shot.



Jimenez, 33 years old, stated that his family will enjoy exploring the city's parks and streets, as well as seeing their relatives.



Jimenez said Reuters that they wanted to get out of their house and get the children out to the city for Christmas.



New York had planned to limit the number people allowed in Times Square to celebrate its annual outdoor New Year's Day celebration. This was in response to the rash of coronavirus cases.



Next week, travel restrictions will be lifted on eight countries in southern Africa that were imposed last month due to concerns over the Omicron variant.


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