Europe protects itself from the new breed
61 South African travelers test positive on arrival in the Netherlands and authorities are studying whether this is the new alternative | Germany considers at least one case of this strain ‘highly likely’.
The UK Department of Health said on Saturday that the UK had detected two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus in people “associated with travel to South Africa”.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed that two cases of Covid-19 have been identified with mutations compatible with [la variante] B.1.1.529 in the UK,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that those infected and their families will be isolated.
“The two cases are linked (to each other) and a trip to South Africa,” the statement said. And health authorities indicated that one of them was discovered in Nottingham (central) and the other in Chelmsford (east London).
In addition, Dutch health authorities have announced that 61 passengers on two flights from South Africa have tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Amsterdam and their results are being checked to see if it is the new variant of omicron.
“We know that 61 of the tests are positive and 531 are negative,” the Dutch health authority said in a statement, explaining that the people who tested positive are in quarantine at a hotel near the airport. “Positive results will be quickly examined to see if they are related to the new variant of concern, called omicron,” the statement said.
All passengers who test positive must quarantine at the hotel for at least seven days if they develop symptoms or five days if they do not, according to the GGD. Passengers who are not infected but who live in the Netherlands will have to self-isolate at home and those not residing in that country will be able to continue their journey.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Friday that the risk of the new type of COVID-19 spreading across Europe is “high to very high”. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that this variant is “alarming” as is the currently prevailing delta that previously discovered alpha, beta and gamma.
The new mutation was first reported in South Africa on November 24. Since Friday, more and more countries have suspended travel to South Africa or decided to protect themselves from flights from this part of the world. Anxiety sent global stock markets tumbling and oil prices plummeted on Friday, at a time when the global economy is trying to extricate itself from the ravages of the pandemic.
In this context, South Africa’s Minister of Health, Jo Falla, lamented the “unjustified” travel ban imposed by the international community against the country after the new alternative was discovered and spread.
WHO, World Health Organization, Amsterdam, Brussels, United States, Europe, Netherlands, South Africa, Brexit, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Vaccines
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