The arrival of the variant of Covid-19, Ómicron to European countries and Asia has caused countries to take different measures such as flight restriction or the closure of its borders, especially to visitors from southern African countries. Meanwhile, scientists worldwide are trying to determine the threat level represented by this variant, especially if it is resistant to vaccines that already exist.
This variant, which is even more contagious than the Delta, has generated a lot of concern in Europe, because yesterday afternoon, 61 passengers on a flight from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19.
WHO warns of increasing cases
According to World Health Organization, the new variant has multiple mutations that represent an increased risk of reinfection. South Africa was the first country to report it, but it is already found in countries in Europe, Asia and North America. The WHO has asked countries and the general population to maintain the public health measures that have been used during the last 2 years. In contrast, they have said that travel restrictions are not a necessary measure.
At least five countries have reported cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Czech Republic confirmed the first cases. In addition, the Dutch authorities quarantined the 61 people who tested positive during their arrival on a flight to Amsterdam.
As of yesterday, the government of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales requires that anyone who arrives on the island, undergoes a PCR test and remains isolated until the result is obtained. So far there are two cases that have been detected in the United Kingdom.
Variant B.1.1.529 has also been identified in Hong Kong, according to the WHO authorities. In addition, countries such as Iran, Japan and Thailand put flight restrictions on any aircraft arriving from Africa. They have not yet considered the total closure of borders, but it is not a ruled out option.
United States and Canada
The United States announced the closure of borders for flights from eight countries in southern Africa, following the announcement of the spread of the new variant. South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi are the cases where access to citizens of these countries will be prohibited.
This Sunday, November 28, the Canadian government reported the detection of its first cases of omicron coronavirus in two passengers from Nigeria.
So far it is known that the patients are in isolation in Ottawa while authorities trace their contacts.
In Mexico, the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo Lopez-Gatell denied that the new variant of Covid-19 is more contagious or is able to evade the action of vaccines against the disease. In addition, he assured that the measure that has to do with the restriction of travel and flights is “disproportionate.”
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