The federal Ministry of Health (SSa) reported this Friday that, given the advance of the new variant of COVID-19, it is updating the genomic surveillance protocols for the intentional search of B.1.1.529, called “Ómicron” by the World Health Organization (who). The agency noted that if necessary sanitary measures will be taken, which will be guided by the available scientific evidence.
“Given the recent recognition of Omicron As a variant of concern on the part of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Health Secretary is updating protocols of genomic surveillance for the purposeful pursuit of bliss variant. Thus, if necessary, the sanitary measures taken will be guided by the available scientific evidence, “the agency announced in its daily technical statement.
At report suggested that all people who are at risk of developing complications get vaccinated against influenza, especially people over the age of 60, between six months and five years, pregnant, those living with HIV, diabetes, cancer and people with immunosuppression due to some disease or for medical treatment. So far, and since SARS-CoV-2 emerged, the WHO has registered 11 mutations, four of them are considered of concern and the other seven were classified as variants of interest.
Omicron variant has probably already arrived in Germany
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus, detected in South Africa, has probably already reached Germany, after characteristic mutations have been detected in a traveler from the region. As reported by the Minister of Social Affairs of the federal state of Hesse, Kai Klose, through his Twitter account, “the Omicron variant has already arrived with a very high probability to Germany“.
“A traveler from South Africa had several characteristic Omicron mutations last night. There is therefore high suspicion. The person in question is in home isolation“, he specified. At the moment the complete sequencing is still being carried out, he indicated, and appealed to all those who arrived from Africa the south in the last week to limit their contacts already tested.
Germany declared a risk zone yesterday due to the presence of the new variant both to South Africa as well as seven other countries in the region: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The declaration as a risk zone by variant implies that the airlines Coming from this region, only German citizens may be transferred to Germany and they must keep a 14-day quarantine after entering the country, even if they are vaccinated.
61 passengers on 2 South African flights test positive when landing in Amsterdam
At least 61 passengers from two flights from South Africa have given this Saturday night positive in coronavirus after landing in Amsterdam, where they were subjected to a PCR upon reaching Netherlands when the ban on flights from southern countries of Africa, although it is not clear if they carry the new omicrón variant.
A team from the municipal health service (GGD) went yesterday afternoon to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, where a flight from Johannesburg and another from Cape Town, to subject its 600 passengers to a test, in application of a Dutch restriction on air traffic from southern Africa due to fears of the new strain.
All the passengers had been detained in an area of the terminal, separated from the rest of the people who were at the airport, waiting for the result of the PCR, which became known throughout the afternoon and night. The balance currently there are 61 people infected, although it is not yet known if they are infected with the omicron variant, and they are staying in a hotel in the Schiphol area under the supervision of local authorities, to comply with a quarantine at least seven days if they have symptoms, and five days if they are asymptomatic.
The rest of the passengers who obtained a negative result in the test should also undergo a five-day home quarantine, until a new PCR is performed which, if negative, allows them to lift the quarantine. The government Dutch declared this Friday at noon the total suspension of all flights from the southern countries of Africa as a preventive measure after the detection of the new variant of the coronavirus in the region.
South Africa is being “punished” for its surveillance
The government of South Africa affirmed this Saturday that the cascade of drastic international prohibitions after the detection of the omicron variant is “like punishing” the country for its advanced scientific surveillance, in addition to noting that not all countries with cases are being subjected to restrictions.
“This latest round of travel bans is like punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and for its ability to detect variants faster. Excellent science should be applauded, not punished, “the South African Executive stressed this Saturday through a statement from his Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation.
“We also point out that the new variants they have been detected in other countries. These countries have no recent ties to South Africa. It is worth noting that the reaction to these countries is markedly different from the cases in Africa from the south, “lamented the South African portfolio in its message.
The Ministry also stressed that the World Health Organization (WHO) called on world leaders not to act on impulse and warned against imposing restrictions Travel.
“Although we respect the right of all countries to take the prevention measures necessary to protect its citizens, we need to remember that this pandemic requires collaboration and shared knowledge, “said the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi pandor, quoted in the statement. “Our immediate concern is the damage that these restrictions are causing to families, to the sightseeing and travel and business, “added Pandor.
WHO names new variant of Covid-19 as “Omicron”
COVID-19: Global alert for new Omicron strain detected in South Africa
The advance of the Omicrón variant today, November 26: Airports in Africa are closed