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ECB's Lagarde says euro zone in better shape facing new COVID wave, Omicron variant

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European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde in Brussels, Belgium February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

MILAN, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The euro zone is better equipped to face the economic impact of a new wave of COVID-19 infections or the Omicron variant, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said.

Several European countries have introduced restrictive measures due to a new increase in COVID-19 infections. The new coronavirus variant Omicron was detected in South Africa on Friday and has spread rapidly across Europe.

"There is an obvious concern about the economic recovery [of the euro zone] in 2022, but I believe we have learnt a lot. We now know our enemy and what measures to take. We are all better equipped to respond to a risk of a fifth wave or the Omicron variant", Lagarde told Italian broadcaster RAI on Sunday.

"The crisis taught us this virus knows no boundaries. Therefore we will not be protected until we are all vaccinated", Lagarde was quoted as saying in a simultaneous Italian translation from French.

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Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; editing by Alexander Smith

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