Shah Mahmood Quershi visit to US posponed due to Omicorn


WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi planned to visit New York and Washington next week, but the Omicron virus forced him to postpone the trip.

Sources in New York said that the virus has also affected President UN General Assembly (UNGA) Abdulla Shahid and senior members of the UN Secretary General’s staff, including his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

This week, the United States registered more than a million Omicron cases, causing school closures and reinforced social-distancing and stirring talks of yet another shutdown.

Mr. Qureshi was expected in New York on Jan. 13 to attend a meeting of the Group of 77, scheduled to start on Jan. 14. He also planned to visit Washington for consultations with senior US officials and lawmakers.

In a letter to UN missions in New York, UNGA President Abdullah Shahid wrote that “the sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases around the world and in New York city” forced him to postpone a high-level thematic debate scheduled on Jan. 13, a day before the G-77 meeting. The G-77 meeting has also been postponed. Mr Shahid wrote that he took this decision to “mitigate the risk of spreading the virus.”

In another letter to UN missions, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti informed them that the world body was allowing its employees in New York to work remotely.

“This decision was made as a precautionary measure based on a surge of positive COVID-19 cases both in New York City and amongst United Nations personnel,” she wrote. “Of even more concern is a trend (of) essential UN workers testing positive, which may soon impact our ability to support the work of member states on our premises.”

You May Also Like


6,800 new infections within 24 hrs in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reports second-highest cases since start of pandemic,


NZC called off Australian tour

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) called off an upcoming tour of Australia on Wednesday,


Sania Mirza to retire at the end of season

MELBOURNE: Sania Mirza said on Wednesday she will retire from tennis at the end