(London) Two cases were first identified in Great Britain in Belgium, and a suspicious case in Germany, with about sixty passengers under surveillance when they arrived in Amsterdam from South Africa: Saturday raised concerns in Europe over the new omigran variant of the corona virus. And the world continued to be isolated from South Africa.
The British Department of Health announced that “two Covit-19 cases involving mutations compatible with P.1.1529 have been identified in the United Kingdom”, and these “two British cases of the Omigron variant” have been linked and subsequently identified. A trip to South Africa “, this variation was first identified this week.
Germany has announced the first suspected case of a passenger arriving at Frankfurt Airport from South Africa. “The Omigron variant already exists in Germany,” tweeted Coy Close, regional minister for social affairs. A full analysis of the results is expected in the coming days.
Following the discovery of a case in Belgium on Friday of a young woman who first came to Egypt from Turkey via Turkey, the EU Health Agency raised concerns that the new variant B.1.1529 represents a “higher risk” for Europe. .
A case of this variation, which the WHO considers “worrying” by the World Health Organization (WHO), has also been reported in Hong Kong, with one returning from Israel to Malawi and the other to Botswana.
In the Netherlands, 61 passengers were positively tested and isolated from two flights from Johannesburg to Amsterdam on Friday, according to the Dutch Health Commission, which is looking into the possible presence of Omigron.
According to a WHO expert panel, initial data on this variant present a “higher risk of recurrence” compared to other species, including delta, which is dominant and already highly contagious.
South Africa feels “punished”
On all continents, countries in South Africa are closed. Travel restrictions apply to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Sweden, Mozambique and sometimes Malawi, with the exception of South Africa.
South Africa was “punished” for discovering the Omnigron variant, and on Saturday condemned its government, saying “scientific excellence should be appreciated, not punished”.
As the rest of the world closed its doors, passengers at Johannesburg Airport tried to return to Europe before it was too late. “We’m tired of all this,” scolded 25-year-old Ruth Brown of Britain.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden stressed that the emergence of this new variant shows that “the epidemic will not end without vaccinations worldwide,” and called for more vaccines to be given to poorer countries.
According to AFP, COVID-19 has killed at least 5.18 million people worldwide since the end of 2019.
The United States has banned the entry of travelers from South Africa, except for U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Several Arab countries, including Canada, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, have accepted the sanctions. Japan will tighten its entry restrictions, and those in the area will be isolated for 10 days.
Thailand has banned entry on the first Saturday in December. South Korea has been using visa restrictions and isolation since Sunday for travelers from eight countries, including South Africa.
The European Union (EU) has recommended suspension of all flights from Europe, South Africa and six countries in the region. Many countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland, have banned flights from these countries. This applies from Sunday in Russia and Tuesday in Spain.
Explosion in Europe
The arrival of this variant comes as Europe is already struggling with an increase in COVID-19 cases and tightening its health restrictions. The Netherlands announced on Friday that it would close bars, restaurants and non-essential shops in advance.
Fears over the new variation pushed oil prices lower on Friday, the worst day in 17 months, and with stock indices.
The effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron is under investigation. Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, a British scientist who led research on the Oxford / Astrogenogen vaccine, believes a new vaccine could be developed “very quickly”.
He considered it “highly unlikely” that this variant would spread strongly among vaccinated populations.
AstraZeneca, vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax have expressed confidence in their ability to fight Omicron strain.
However, a WHO spokesman said Friday that it would take “several weeks” to understand the spread of the new variant and the extent of the virus.
About 54% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but only 5.6% in low – income countries, according to Our World in Data. In South Africa, the most affected country on the continent, only 23.8% of the population is fully vaccinated.