Tokyo – Japan continues to be proactive about new coronavirus variants on Wednesday, with new flights arriving domestically by the end of December to further strengthen already strict border controls for international airlines. I asked you to stop the reservation.
The Ministry of Transport said the request was an urgent precautionary measure amid growing concerns about the spread of new Omicron variants. The move by the world’s third-largest economy, coupled with the recent return to a ban on foreign visitors, is one of the toughest everywhere, and China, a cloister neighbor than any other democracy in the region. Is consistent with. It comes when scientists work hard to determine how threatening Omicron is.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, it will not affect those who have already made a reservation, but it may be canceled if there are not enough passengers. Japan is a major transportation hub to and from Asia, and its great economic importance means that its actions can have broader impact. Transit flights are not affected.
This decision is made the day after Japan reports the first case in a Namibian diplomat, when it confirms the second case of an Omicron variant in a person arriving from Peru.
As some health officials suspect, there are many new variants, such as whether it is more contagious, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can block the vaccine. Remains unknown.
From Tuesday, Japan has banned all foreign visitors as an emergency precaution against new variants. The ban will be tentatively extended until the end of the year. The government also requires Japanese arriving in the country to be quarantined for up to 14 days.
The World Health Organization warned on Monday that the global risk of Omicron mutants was “very high,” based on early evidence, and said it could lead to a surge with “serious consequences.”
Recent findings show that the mutant coronavirus was already present in Europe nearly a week before South Africa sounded the alarm.
The RIVM Institute for Public Health in the Netherlands has revealed that patient samples dated 19 and 23 November were found to contain mutations. It was November 24 that South African authorities reported the existence of a highly mutated virus to the World Health Organization.
This shows that Omicron has made a bigger and more lucrative start in the Netherlands than previously believed.
The findings show the difficulty of containing the virus in an era of jet travel and economic globalization. And it left the world again with a whiplash between the hope of returning to normal and the fear that the worst had not yet come.
Dr. Albert Ko, an infectious disease specialist at the Graduate School of Public Health, has repeatedly shown that the pandemic “transmits quickly for a globalized and interconnected world.” “We will fall into this situation many times” until the impetus for vaccination reaches all countries.
Brazil, which recorded more than 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, reported discovering this variant in two travelers returning from South Africa. This is the first known case of Omicron in Latin America. Travelers were tested on November 25, officials said.
France recorded the first incident on the territory of a reunion on a remote island in the Indian Ocean. Officials said the patient was a man who returned to reunion from South Africa and Mozambique on November 20.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the best infectious disease expert in the United States, said more about Omicron will be known in the coming weeks: “We are much better at the challenges ahead of us. You can understand. “
Meanwhile, WHO officials have warned that infections could quickly surge in parts of South Africa given the increasing number of cases of Omicron in Botswana, which borders South Africa.
Dr. Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, WHO’s regional virologist, said:
In South Africa, the number of cases began to increase rapidly in mid-November, and now about 3,000 new infections are confirmed per day.
Other countries with confirmed cases include the United Kingdom, 11 European Union countries, Australia, Canada and Israel. A disease tracker in the United States said Omicron could already exist in the United States and will probably be detected shortly.
“I’m always looking forward to it,” said Scott Becker, an association of public health laboratories. “We expect it to be here.”
The variant was first identified by South African researchers, but it is unknown where and when it occurred, and there is information to help clarify how fast it spreads.
The announcement from the Netherlands on Tuesday could shape that timeline.
Earlier, the Netherlands stated that a variant was found in passengers from South Africa on Friday. On the same day, the Netherlands and other EU member states began imposing flight bans and other restrictions on South Africa. However, the newly identified cases are earlier.
NOS, a Dutch public broadcaster, said one of the two Omicron samples came from someone who was in southern Africa.
Many health officials have sought to calm fear, arguing that vaccines are still the best defense and that the world must double its efforts to inject everywhere in the world.
After COVID-19 led to a one-year postponement of the Summer Olympics, Olympic organizers began to worry about the February Winter Olympics in Beijing. Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Omicron “will certainly pose some challenges in terms of prevention and management.”
The global market has focused on all medical news, whether worried or reassuring. Stocks fell to Wall Street because of fear of the virus, as well as concerns about the ongoing efforts of the Federal Reserve to support the market.
Some analysts believe that a serious recession will probably be avoided as many people are vaccinated. However, they also believe that the return to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity has been dramatically delayed, especially in the tourism industry.
Japan began offering coronavirus vaccine booster shots to healthcare professionals on Wednesday amid growing concerns about new variants.
The development of vaccination in Japan has made a slow start, but has surged since late May, and now about 77% of the population is completely vaccinated. Experts cite the steady slowdown in Japanese infections since September.
AP journalists around the world have contributed to this report.
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Japan will suspend new bookings for all arriving flights
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