13 cases detected in the Netherlands as spreading Omicron mutants

File photo: New South Wales surpasses the double-dose coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination target for 90% of the population over the age of 16 in Sydney, Australia, on November 9th. A traveling horse-riding police officer. 2021.Reuters / Lauren Elliott

November 28, 2021

Elizabeth Piper and Toby Sterling

London / Amsterdam (Reuters) – A new variant of the Omicron coronavirus continued to spread worldwide on Sunday, with 13 cases found in the Netherlands and 2 cases each in Denmark and Australia, but more countries were banned from traveling. I tried to impose and block it.

Dutch health officials have announced that 13 cases of this variant have been found in passengers on flights from South Africa arriving in Amsterdam on Friday.

Authorities tested all over 600 passengers on these two flights, found 61 cases of coronavirus, and continued testing for new variants.

“It is unlikely that more cases will occur in the Netherlands,” Health Minister Hu Ge de Jongge said at a press conference in Rotterdam. “This is probably the tip of the iceberg.”

First discovered in South Africa, this variant is currently found in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong.

Last week, the discovery of Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, raised concerns around the world that it could resist vaccination and prolong the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two years. ..

Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants https://www.reuters.com/world/how-worried-should-we-be-about-omicron-variant-2021-11-27 Experts Does not yet know it but causes more or less serious COVID-19 compared to other strains.

Danish infectious disease officials said on Sunday that they had registered two cases of this variant with travelers from South Africa.

Health officials in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, https: //www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australian-state-edge-about-omicron-virus-variant-arrival-2021 -11-27 Two passengers arriving in Sydney from South Africa on Saturday night tested positive for this variant.

Austria is investigating a suspicious case on Sunday, and in France Health Minister Olivier Véran said the variant was probably already in circulation there.

Countries have imposed travel bans or curb waves in southern Africa in an attempt to stop the spread. Friday’s financial markets plunged as investors were concerned that this variant could stall global recovery. Oil prices have fallen by about $ 10 per barrel.

On Sunday, most Gulf stock markets fell sharply early in the transaction, and Saudi Arabia’s index suffered the largest one-day fall in almost two years.

Israeli measures

In the most extensive effort to keep variants away, Israel has set https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-ban-entry-foreigners-all-countries-over-omicron-2021- Announced. Late Saturday 11-27, it will ban all foreigners from entering the country and reintroduce counterterrorism telephone tracking technology to contain the spread of variants.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban would last for 14 days, awaiting government approval. Authorities hope that within that period there will be more information on how effective the vaccine is against Omicron.

Many countries impose or plan to limit travel from southern Africa. The South African government accused it of being unfair and potentially harmful to the economy on Saturday, saying it was punished for its scientific ability to identify variants of the coronavirus early.

In the United Kingdom, where two related cases of Omicron identified on Saturday were associated with a trip to southern Africa, the government demanded stricter testing rules and masks in some environments for people arriving in the country. Announced measures to contain the spread.

UK Health Minister Sajid Javid receives urgent advice on Sunday on whether the government can expand its program to provide booster shots to fully vaccinated people to mitigate the effects of variants. He said he was expecting that.

Bavaria, Germany, also announced two confirmed cases of the variant on Saturday. The Italian National Institutes of Health said a new subspecies case was detected in Milan, a person from Mozambique.

Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese respiratory disease expert, may take some time to reach a conclusion on the harmful effects of the new variant, state television reported on Sunday.

Vaccine disparity

Epidemics say travel restrictions may be too late to stop Omicron’s circulation, but many countries, including the United States, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, are in Africa. Announced bans or restrictions on travel in the South.

More countries, such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, have imposed such restrictions on Sundays.

Mexico’s deputy health minister, Hugo Lopez Gatel, said travel bans were of little use in response to new varieties and called the measures taken by some countries “imbalance.”

“It has not been shown to be more toxic or avoid vaccine-induced immune responses. They affect people’s economy and well-being,” he said in a Twitter post on Saturday. rice field.

Omicron emerged as many European countries are already fighting the proliferation of COVID-19 infections and reintroducing restrictions on social activities to stop the epidemic.

The new variants also highlight the large disparities in vaccination rates around the world. Less than 7% of people in low-income countries receive their first COVID-19 shots, according to medical and human rights groups, even though many developed countries have had a third boost.

Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, said he is co-leading the COVAX initiative with WHO to promote fair distribution of vaccines, which is essential to prevent the emergence of coronavirus variants. ..

“We need to know more about Omicron, but we know that variants will continue to emerge and the pandemic will be prolonged unless the majority of the world’s population is vaccinated,” he told Reuters. Said in a statement. Saturday.

(Reports by Elizabeth Piper, Dan Williams, Melanie Burton, Kevin Yao, Reuters, written by Francis Kelly, edited by Mark Heinrich and Reissa Kasorowski)

13 cases detected in the Netherlands as spreading Omicron mutants

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