Australia and Denmark recorded events related to the new strain this Sunday; several countries are taking steps to try to contain the spread.
A variant Omicron is spreading around the world and new cases have been confirmed in Australia, on Denmark and on Holland this Sunday, 28. The new strain of coronavirus has already been identified in four continents: Asia, Europe, Oceania and Africa – where the first case was detected. More than ten countries have confirmed Covid-19 cases caused by the new variant and other suspected cases are still under review. The Dutch government announced on Sunday the confirmation of 13 cases of Covid-19 related to Ômicron. All cases involve passengers on two flights that departed the South Africa and arrived in Amsterdam on Friday, 26, when more than 600 passengers were tested and 61 positive cases of Covid-19 were detected. “It’s not unlikely that more cases will appear in the Netherlands,” said the Netherlands’ Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge. “This could be the tip of the iceberg.”
Also on Sunday, authorities in Australia and Denmark confirmed the identification of two cases of Ômicron each. In the four cases, those infected were people who arrived in the country on flights from southern Africa. In the Australian cases, the two passengers were tested in New South Wales, the country’s most populous state. Both were asymptomatic and had been vaccinated against the Covid-19. In a statement, the New South Wales Department of Health said another 12 passengers on flights from the South African continent would also have to serve a 14-day quarantine in a hotel, while another 260 passengers and flight crew were advised to maintain self-isolation. So far, cases of the new variant have been detected in South Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. Austria is analyzing a suspicious case, while French Health Minister Olivier Veran admitted that the strain must already be in circulation on French territory.
Restrictions in different countries
The United States, Brazil, Canada, European Union countries, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand have imposed travel restrictions from South Africa, where Ômicron possibly originated. On Saturday night, the 27th, Israel announced a ban on the entry of foreigners and the reintroduction of mobile application contact tracking technology to curb the spread of the variant. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban would initially last 14 days. Israel’s health authorities hope that within this period there will be more information on the effectiveness of vaccines against Ômicron.
In the UK, where two cases linked to the variant have been identified, the government has announced measures to try to contain the spread, including applying tests to people arriving in the country and requiring the use of masks in some environments. British Health Minister Sajid Javid said he hoped to receive guidance soon on a possible expansion of the vaccination program to people already fully immunized, in order to weaken the strain’s impact. The discovery of Ômicron last week by the World Health Organization has raised concerns around the world that the new strain could be more resistant to the vaccine and prolong the coronavirus pandemic around the world. It is suspected that the variant is potentially more contagious than the other strains, although it is not yet known whether it causes more or less severe symptoms compared to the others.
*With information from Estadão Content.
Source From: Jovempan