The Maldives is set to join its global partners in taking action against the new COVID variant 'Omicron' as fears mount about another potential wave of the COVID pandemic.

In a tweet, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said that the news of a new Covid variant, Omicron is of great concern to the Maldives.

He said that the Technical Advisory Group is meeting today to decide on possible precautionary measures.

The President also said that the Maldives is administering booster vaccine shots to ages 50 and above

He said that booster shots for healthcare, tourism, and airport frontline staff will start this week.

The President noted that the booster program for the general population will commence in mid-December.

He urged those to get their booster shots as soon as possible.

The words from the President came as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a new coronavirus variant to be "of concern" and named it Omicron.

WHO said that it had a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk,

It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on 24 November and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel.

A number of countries around the world have now decided to ban or restrict travel to and from southern Africa.