Geneva: The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that he is optimistic that the COVID-19 pandemic will be defeated in 2022, provided countries work together to contain its spread.
Ghebreyesus warned against "narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding" in a new year statement, reports the BBC.
His comments come two years since the WHO was first notified of cases of an unknown pneumonia strain in China.
He warned that continuing inequity in vaccine distribution was increasing the risk of the virus evolving.
"Narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding by some countries have undermined equity and created the ideal conditions for the emergence of the Omicron variant, and the longer inequity continues, the higher the risks of the virus evolving in ways we can't prevent or predict," he said.
"If we end inequity, we end the pandemic," he added.
India has registered a substantial spike in daily COVID cases at 22,775 in a span of 24 hours. Also, 406 deaths were reported in the same time span pushing the toll to 4,81,486.
However, the active caseload jumped to 1,04,781 which constitute 0.30 per cent of the country's total positive cases.
Meanwhile, the Omicron infection tally has increased to 1,431 across the nation. However, of the total cases, 488 have been discharged from hospitals. So far, 23 states have reported Omicron infections.