The health ministers of G7 countries have agreed that the omicron variant of coronavirus is the "biggest current threat to global public health".
The ministers of the world's seven richest countries – the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan – issued a joint statement following their final meeting under the UK's term presidency, expressing deep concerns over rising infections.
They stressed that it is important to have equal access to diagnostics, genome sequencing, vaccines, and cure.
“It is more important than ever to closely cooperate, and monitor as well as share data,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, with more cases of the omicron variant being reported across Europe, countries are bracing for a new wave and weighing additional measures.
The UK on Wednesday recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. The daily case count reached 78,610, beating the Jan. 8 record when the UK was in its third national lockdown.
France on Thursday announced tighter border controls with the UK as cases of the new variant rose exponentially in Great Britain.