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Omicron challenge 'a race against time', EU's chief executive says

FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference in Riga, Latvia November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

PARIS (Reuters) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the challenge posed by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was a “race against time”, urging all involved to “prepare for the worst”.

“You have read about the multiple mutations and what that might be, and we know from our experience with the Delta data variant that it is a race against time,” she told a news conference.

“Scientists tell us we have to do everything possible to make the best out of the time we have till we have certainty about the characteristics of transmissibility and severity of Omicron”, the European Union executive chief said.

“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best”, von der Leyen added, recalling that according to scientists full vaccination and a booster shot provide the strongest possible protection.

Reporting by John Chalmers, Marine Strauss and Benoit Van Overstraeten