- New Year’s Eve muted or cancelled in many places amid Omicron surge across the world
- New Zealand rings in New Year 2022 with highly anticipated fireworks in Auckland
New Delhi: The world welcomed 2022 as the New Year celebrations start with firework displays in many cities as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the year (December 31).
New Zealand’s Auckland became the first major city to welcome New Year with traditional and highly anticipated fireworks lit up the night sky in the city, followed by the stunning fireworks display over the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in Australia.
Plans of the New Year’s Eve celebrations were muted or canceled in many places for the second consecutive year due to a surge in coronavirus infections, driven by the highly contagious new Omicron variant this time.
With cases of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 surging across the world, various restrictions have forced people to stay back at home this New Year’s Eve. However, New Zealand has eased rules on public gatherings this time.
Several European countries, the UK and the US have been reporting a record number of COVID-19 cases each day, while experts in India believe that the country is on the verge of a third wave.
People in India are also celebrating the New Year amid tight curbs imposed by several States/UTs to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In India, the surge in COVID cases due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant has dampened the New Year celebrations. Many states in the country have introduced strict guidelines or prohibitory orders regarding gathering on New Year’s Eve.
The year 2021 started with hope, as life-saving vaccines against the COVID-19 were rolled out to around 60 percent of the world’s population.