13 of 61 people who tested positive for COVID-19 on two flights from South Africa to the Netherlands were infected Super mutant Omicron variant is now popping up in countries around the globe, officials revealed on Sunday.
Each passenger must have a certificate of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a KLM flight, which means the vaccine does not prevent infection, tests do not detect the virus, or the virus was undetectable at the time the tests were performed.
Those who tested positive were detained in an airport hotel in Amsterdam, but more than 550 people flying with them were allowed to travel to their final destination after testing negative for PCR. Many passengers on KLM connecting flights received gift bags of sparkling wine and apologies for the inconvenience.
News of positive tests will only add to worldwide anxiety over Omicron – which has prompted states to ban some flights, rattled stock markets and prompted scientists to must rush to discover everything possible about the new strain of bacteria.
Nearly every country in Europe now has at least one suspected case with many confirmed infections linked to travel to Africa. Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium and the Czech Republic have confirmed cases; Several other countries have identified suspected cases. In Italy, a man who flew from Mozambique to Milan tested positive at the airport upon arrival, but his case was not confirmed as Omicron until he traveled south back home near Naples. Health authorities are currently attempting contact tracing to determine who he or his family may have been in contact with.
Australia has also confirmed their first variant cases. The UK, which is no longer part of the European Union, has at least two confirmed cases and will now require people to isolate for at least two days and take a PCR test upon arrival in the country. The US has yet to confirm a case but Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was only a matter of time, as officials had banned flights from eight countries. Israel, which has just had one confirmed case, has taken the extreme step of blocking all foreigners from entering the country for at least two weeks.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “It is a temporary and necessary step.
The world should have been ready for Omicron. For months, health experts have warned that universal vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic, yet only 7% of the continent’s population has received even the first dose of the vaccine. . When India was the epicenter of the pandemic due to the delayed deployment of a vaccine intended to spread the Delta variant among the unvaccinated, everyone said Africa would be next. And it was.
Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, told CNN that variants like Delta and now Omicron are “a natural consequence of the world being so slow to vaccinate”. “We still have a large population of unvaccinated populations, like we have in sub-Saharan Africa, and these populations are susceptible to large outbreaks,” he said.
The global approach is to shut down only South Africa although South African health authorities say at least for now the Omicron cases do not appear to be more severe than other variants. The President of Malawi on Sunday said that shutting down much of Africa for transparency about the spread was nothing more than “afrophobia”. Writing on his Facebook page, he said the travel ban was inappropriate. “Living measures must be based on science, not Afrophobia.”
The researchers know that Omicron differs from earlier strains of COVID in that it has more than 30 mutations in the mutant protein — which is what allows it to bind to host cells. That raises the question of whether it is more contagious; Some experts fear the answer is yes, because the emergence of Omicron has coincided with a sudden increase in new cases in South Africa.
Another big question is how easily Omicron can subvert the vaccine and whether it can cause serious illness or death in the vaccinated person. David Hui, a pandemic adviser in Hong Kong, said it was found in two people who had received the Pfizer vaccine but whose symptoms were mild.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/13-omicron-cases-confirmed-in-amsterdam-israel-shuts-border?source=articles&via=rss 13 Omicron cases confirmed in Amsterdam, Israel will close the border