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COVID-19: Global alert for new Omicron strain detected in South Africa

The world isolates South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) determined yesterday that the new variant of the coronavirus detected in South Africa, which christened Ómicron, it is “risky” and more contagious, in a day in which many States suspended travel.

“The variant has been detected at a faster rate than in previous surges in the number of infections, which could indicate that it has an advantage when it comes to spreading,” the WHO experts stressed.

Although they did not indicate for now whether Ómicron is more or less resistant to vaccines, they did point out that PCR tests appear to continue to be useful.

Before and after the opinion of these experts from the who, the fear of this new variant of coronavirus caused a cascading suspension of travel and restrictions with respect to some South African states.

European Union countries agreed to veto flights to seven southern African countries –Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini— and that European residents who come from them, and who do have the right to enter the EU, undergo testing and quarantine.

The United States, Canada, Brazil, Guatemala, Turkey, Russia, Israel, Morocco, India, Japan and Singapore joined the wave of restrictions.

COVID-19 has rocked the world for two years since it was first identified in China, infecting nearly 260 million people and officially killing 5.4 million.

A Hong Kong epidemiologist says it may be too late to tighten restrictions. “Most likely this virus is already elsewhere. So if we close the door now, it will probably be too late,” said Ben Cowling of the University of Hong Kong. Belgium identified the first case from Europe, joining Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.

The variant has a spike protein that is dramatically different from the original coronavirus the vaccines are based on, the UK reported.

EFE, REUTERS and AFP

PHOTO: AFP

MAAZ

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