Britain, Germany and Italy Detect Omicron Coronavirus Variant Cases

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Britain, Germany and Italy detected new Omicron coronavirus cases on Saturday, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new steps to contain the virus, while more countries banned travel from southern Africa.

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The discovery of the variant has sparked global anxiety, a wave of travel restrictions or sanctions and a sell-off in financial markets on Friday as investors worried that Omicron could halt a global recovery from a nearly two-year pandemic.

British Health Minister Sajid Javid said the two linked cases of the new variant detected in Britain were linked to travel to southern Africa.

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Medics wearing special suits to protect against the coronavirus treat COVID-19 patients at the intensive care unit of a hospital in Volgograd, Russia, on November 21, 2021.

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The world’s reaction to the new COVID variant

Speaking later, Johnson took measures that included stricter testing rules for people coming into the country, but stopped curbing social activities other than requiring the wearing of masks in some settings.

“We will need to conduct a PCR test by the end of the second day after the arrival of anyone entering the UK and self-isolate until a negative result comes in,” Johnson told a news conference.

People who came in contact with people who tested positive for a suspected case of Omicron will have to self-isolate for 10 days and the government will tighten face-covering rules, Johnson said, with steps in three weeks. will be reviewed. ,

The Ministry of Health in the German state of Bavaria also announced two confirmed cases of the variant. The two men entered Germany at Munich airport on November 24, before Germany designated South Africa as a virus-variant zone, and were now isolated, the ministry said, clearly stating that Without that people had traveled from South Africa.



Police officers stand guard after announcing new measures to fight a record increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in The Hague, Netherlands, on November 26, 2021.

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Dutch test for new variant after 61 COVID cases found in travelers from South Africa

In Italy, the National Institutes of Health said a case of the new type was found in Milan, in a man arriving from Mozambique.

Czech health officials also said they were investigating a suspected case of the variant in a man who had spent time in Namibia.

Omicron, dubbed a “type of concern” by the World Health Organization, is potentially more contagious than previous forms of the disease, although experts do not yet know whether it is more or less severe than other strains. Will cause COVID-19.

England’s chief medical officer, Chris Vitti, said at the same news conference as Johnson that there was still a lot of uncertainty around O’Microon, but “there is a reasonable possibility that there is at least some degree of vaccine development with this version.” will be saved.”

The variant was first discovered in South Africa and has since been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.

flights to amsterdam



Police officers stand guard after announcing new measures to fight a record increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in The Hague, Netherlands, on November 26, 2021.

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Dutch test for new variant after 61 COVID cases found in travelers from South Africa

Dutch officials said 61 of the nearly 600 people who arrived in Amsterdam on Friday from South Africa on two flights had tested positive for the coronavirus. Health officials were conducting further tests to see if those cases involved the new variant.

Dutch photographer Paula Zimmermann, a passenger who arrived on Friday from South Africa, said she tested negative but was worried for days to come.

“I’m told they expect a lot of people to test positive after five days. The thought is a little scary that you’re on a plane with a lot of people who have tested positive,” she said.

Financial markets fell on Friday, especially in shares of airlines and others in the travel sector, as investors worried that the variant could spark another surge in the pandemic. Oil prices fell by about $10 a barrel.

It may take weeks for scientists to fully understand the mutation of the variant and whether existing vaccines and treatments are effective against it.



People line up for an overseas flight at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, on November 26, 2021.

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South African scientists brace for wave inspired by Omicron

travel ban

Although epidemiologists say travel restrictions may be too late to stop Omicron from spreading globally, several countries around the world – including the United States, Brazil, Canada and European Union countries – on Friday announced a travel ban or ban in Southern Africa.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department on Saturday advised against travel to eight southern African countries in Washington’s previously announced travel restrictions.

Omicron US Sanctions

Omicron US Sanctions

Also on Saturday, Australia said it would ban non-citizens who have entered nine southern African countries and require a 14-day quarantine for Australians returning from there.

Japan said it would expand its tight border controls to three more African countries after banning travel from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho on Friday.

Britain also said it was expanding its “red list” to impose travel restrictions on countries in more southern Africa, while South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Oman, Kuwait and Hungary imposed travel restrictions on southern African countries. declare.

South Africa is concerned the sanctions will hurt tourism and other sectors of its economy, the foreign ministry said on Saturday, with the government engaging with countries that have imposed travel restrictions to persuade them to reconsider.



A petrol attendant stands next to the headline of a newspaper in Pretoria, South Africa, on November 27, 2021.

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Explainer: How concerned should we be about the Omicron version?

Omicron has emerged as many countries in Europe already grapple with a surge in COVID-19 infections, and some have resumed restrictions on social activities to try to contain the spread. Austria and Slovakia have entered lockdown.

vaccination

The new edition has also highlighted inequalities in vaccinating the world’s population. Even as many developed countries are offering third-dose boosters, less than 7% of people in low-income countries have received their first COVID-19 shot, according to medical and human rights groups.

Seth Berkeley, CEO of the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which leads the COVAX initiative to push for equitable distribution of vaccines in collaboration with the WHO, said this was necessary to prevent the emergence of more coronavirus variants.

While we still need to learn more about Omicron, we do know that until large parts of the world’s population are vaccinated, variants will continue to appear, and the pandemic will be prolonged,” he told Reuters. said in a statement.

“We will only prevent the variant from emerging if we are able to protect all of the world’s population, not just the wealthy parts.”

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