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Omicron variant: G7 to hold emergency Covid meeting as Japan closes its borders

South African president and WHO’s Africa chief urge against travel bans, saying they ‘attack global solidarity’

G7 health ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday about the new Omicron Covid-19 variant spreading across the world and forcing border closures, as experts race to determine the level of threat posed by the new strain.

The meeting was called by G7 chair Britain, which is among a steadily growing number of countries that have detected cases of the heavily mutated new variant.

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