December 1, 2022

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The Omigron type comes from Canada

Two first cases of a new variant of the corona virus were confirmed Sunday in Omigron, Ottawa. G7 health ministers were summoned to an emergency meeting on Monday amid growing concerns over the spread of lawsuits around the world.

Alice Girard-Bose

Alice Girard-Bose

Ontario on Sunday confirmed two cases of the Omigron variant of Covit-19 in Ottawa. “Both of these cases have recently been reported in travelers from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health handles case and contact management, and patients are isolated, ”said Christine Elliott, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health.R. The state’s chief health officer, Kieran Moore, said in a statement.

Nigeria, located in West Africa, is not on Canada’s red list.

The Minister of Health of Canada, Jean-Yves Duclos, said, “We can expect other cases of this variation to be found in Canada.”

Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dupe has indicated on Twitter that his team is in constant contact with Minister Douglas and is closely monitoring the situation with public health “to see the evolution of omigran variation in Quebec”. .

“Variation has many confusing mutations, mutations that allow it to escape from antibodies, mutations that allow it to attach more strongly to cells, and mutations that accelerate the rate at which a person becomes infected with the virus. Pegos says. Press.

On November 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) named strain B.1.1.529 a variant of anxiety and named it Omicron. This variant has a high number of mutations and was first reported to the WHO by South Africa on 24 November.

Emergency meeting

The British government, currently the rotating head of the G7, announced on Sunday that it would convene an “emergency meeting” of the group’s health ministers on Monday to address the issue of the Omicron variant.

The health ministers of France, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom are due to meet on Monday, November 29 to discuss the evolution of the disease.

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So far, Canada, the Netherlands, Botswana, South Africa, Israel, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic have detected cases of the Omicron variant, mainly among travelers.

Canadian traveler infected

China has identified two cases of the Omigron type, including a traveler from Canada to Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, on November 11, a 36-year-old traveler from South Africa was tested positive for the Omigron variant. On November 10, a 62-year-old traveler from Canada was isolated in a hotel room opposite a South African traveler and tested positive a week after his arrival.

The country’s public health says a traveler from Canada may have been infected with the virus when a South African man opened the door of his hotel room without wearing a surgical mask. Adequate air circulation will also be involved.

Both affected men were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. The 62-year-old from Canada received two doses of the vaccine, April 29 and May 25.

The Chinese Ministry of Health said 12 people who stayed in three rooms on the left and right of the two victims’ rooms from November 11 to 14 were subjected to 14 days of forced isolation.

An important variation

Despite the fact that the Omigron variant is on everyone’s lips internationally, new health restrictions have not yet been imposed in South Africa, says French traveler Jon Ales.

We continue to wear masks in closed areas and are disinfected [les mains] We take the temperature five times a day and fill out questionnaires at each entrance to the park, ”Mr. Ales writes. Press.

However, the vaccination rate in South Africa is very low: only 24% of the population has received adequate immunizations.

Tjalina Nijholt, a Dutch tourist visiting East Africa, has not noticed any change in the attitude of the people over the past few days. “It’s very strange, the difference is so great. You see people talking about this new variation from Europe, the United States, all over the world. But within the countries, at least in Tanzania and Kenya, this is not a concern,” he said in an interview. Press.

Is it too late?

Based on past experience with COVID-19, the Omicron variant may already have spread around the world, experts believe. Press.

“By the time we identify a variant, we know it has already spread. One area that determines whether the Omigran variant continues to spread is how it competes with the delta variant,” he said. Press Philip A. Epidemiologist at Brown University, Chan, Rhode Island, USA.

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But before deciding whether the new Omigron variant will succeed in overcoming the delta variation, experts conclude that additional data will be needed.

Canadians are still stranded in South Africa

Faced with the rapid spread of the new Omigron variant, many countries rushed to close their doors to travelers from South Africa. Many international flights have been suspended, making it difficult for Canadians to return home. However, the WHO and many experts are calling for the borders to remain open.

Danielle Husar, 23, is a member of the Canadian Junior Girls’ National Field Hockey Team. For the past few days, he has been training with his team in Potschefstrom, South Africa, ahead of the 2021 International Hockey Federation Junior World Cup, scheduled for December 5-16. .

But last Friday, plans changed. “We were told on Friday evening that our matches had been postponed due to the appearance of a new variant. We were supposed to leave in mid-December, but we are now trying to get back to Canada as soon as possible,” he said.Me At Hussar Press.

On all continents, many states cover themselves from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, but also from South African countries such as Zambia, Malawi or Angola. They have tightened the entry rules for all passengers. Angola became the first South African country to land flights in the region on Sunday.

The young woman and her teammates from British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario are worried about being able to return to the country.

Photo by Daniel Husser

Daniel Hussar, Canadian Junior Women’s National Field Hockey Team Trapped in South Africa

A group in Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian government, is working to bring young women into the country. “But at this point, we don’t know when we can return,” he added.

Punish South Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday called for “borders to remain open” as travel restrictions on African countries increase.

“The WHO stands with African countries and calls for borders to remain open,” the organization said in a statement, calling on countries to “adopt a scientific approach” based on “risk assessment”.

According to Andrew Begos, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, closing borders is not an effective method.

Travel restrictions rarely work. We see that the variation already exists in Europe. The message it sends is that South Africa and scientists are being punished for being honest and spreading their data quickly.

Andrew Pegos, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Epidemiologist

South African health officials say the ban, which could have an impact on the economy and tourism, could prevent countries from reporting the discovery of variations in the future for fear of being allowed. In their country.

“It is very important that countries that are transparent with their data are supported because this is the only way to ensure that important data is obtained in a timely manner,” the WHO emphasizes.

What to do then? “We need to test better and find other ways to quickly diagnose cases,” Begos concludes.

With Corali Laplante, Press, And Agencies France-Press