Omicron variant: Canada expands travel ban, seeks booster guidance

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Canada is restricting travel from three more African countries and seeking guidance on COVID-19 boosters amid the emergence of the Omicron version.

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In a press conference on Tuesday, Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said foreign nationals from Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt who have lived in those countries in the past two weeks would not be able to enter Canada. It joins seven other African countries banned by Canada on Friday: South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

Canadians and permanent residents, as well as all those who have the right to return to Canada, who have transited through these countries in the past two weeks, must be quarantined, tested at the airport, and before exiting the quarantine Will have to wait for their exam results. , Duclos said.

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The Government of Canada is asking the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) to quickly provide the latest instructions on the use of boosters in the context of the new Omron version.

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Duclos said, “What we are calling on is for NACI to provide quick guidance on whether we need to revise national standards, national perspectives and actions on booster use across Canada in the context of the new Omron version.” needed.”

As of Tuesday, Canada had confirmed six cases of the Omicron variant: four in Ontario and one each in Quebec and Alberta.

Omicron is the fifth and latest edition of the designated concern by the World Health Organization (WHO).

This variant is more heavily mutated than other forms of anxiety, with more than 30 mutations that scientists fear could help it spread more easily or even lead to prior infection or Antibodies can be avoided by vaccination.

The WHO has warned that Omicron is at “very high” risk of developing infection with COVID-19, which could have “serious consequences” in some places, although further research was needed to assess its potential impact.

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