COVID-19 casts bleak shadow over New Year celebrations, again

COVID-19 casts bleak shadow over New Year celebrations, again
# 30 December 2021 18:12 (UTC +04:00)

COVID-19 will stifle New Year celebrations around the world for the second year running on Friday, with governments in many countries hurriedly scaling back festivities in an effort to contain rampant contagion, APA reports citing Reuters.

Global coronavirus infections hit a record high over the past seven-day period, with almost one million cases detected on average each day worldwide between Dec. 23 and 29, some 100,000 up on the previous peak posted on Wednesday, according to Reuters data.

Numerous nations registered all-time highs during the previous 24 hours, including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, the United States, France and Italy, as the all-conquering Omicron variant spread like wildfire.

Although studies have suggested it is less deadly than some previous variants, many health authorities were taking no chances, telling people the best way to see in 2022 was at home with very few guests - preferably all vaccinated.

In Europe, where almost one million people have died of coronavirus over the past 12 months, traditional concerts and firework displays that typically draw thousands of people on to the streets were cancelled in most major cities, including London, Paris, Zurich, Brussels, Warsaw and Rome.

Indian authorities started to impose stringent rules on Thursday to prevent mass gatherings, with night curfews imposed in all major cities and restaurants ordered to limit customers.

COVID-19 will stifle New Year celebrations around the world for the second year running on Friday, with governments in many countries hurriedly scaling back festivities in an effort to contain rampant contagion.

Global coronavirus infections hit a record high over the past seven-day period, with almost one million cases detected on average each day worldwide between Dec. 23 and 29, some 100,000 up on the previous peak posted on Wednesday, according to Reuters data.

Numerous nations registered all-time highs during the previous 24 hours, including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, the United States, France and Italy, as the all-conquering Omicron variant spread like wildfire.

Although studies have suggested it is less deadly than some previous variants, many health authorities were taking no chances, telling people the best way to see in 2022 was at home with very few guests - preferably all vaccinated.

In Europe, where almost one million people have died of coronavirus over the past 12 months, traditional concerts and firework displays that typically draw thousands of people on to the streets were cancelled in most major cities, including London, Paris, Zurich, Brussels, Warsaw and Rome.

Indian authorities started to impose stringent rules on Thursday to prevent mass gatherings, with night curfews imposed in all major cities and restaurants ordered to limit customers.

Earlier this week, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged people to rethink their party plans. "It's better to cancel now and celebrate later, than to celebrate now and grieve later," he said.

However, despite spiking cases, some places are ploughing ahead with events regardless, including Sydney, the first major city to usher in the New Year, which is hosting its annual fireworks spectacular over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

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