Omicron’s Nigeria cases deepen various mysteries, as countries change travel strategies as scientists Learn More

As the scientific community worked on parsing how bad is the super mutant Omicron variant coronavirus could be, individual countries are responding in increase in erratic ways. More than 70 countries now have travel restrictions that primarily target South African countries, although new evidence suggests this variant was found elsewhere long before South African scientists discovered it. out it in the lab.

Nigeria announced on Wednesday that a review of samples taken in October showed that Omicron was present at the time. The Netherlands also found variation in samples a few days before it was discovered in South Africa. In both countries, people with the disease either have no symptoms or have mild cases. Neither the Netherlands nor Nigeria are covered by most travel bans, including entering the United States.

France, which quickly banned travel from southern Africa, said on Wednesday it would reopen flights to the banned countries on December 4 under “extremely strict” supervision. Other European countries are considering similar changes after news that the virus may not have originated there at all. Over there No deaths from the Omicron strain have been reported yet.

The Biden administration has confirmed it is considering tightening restrictions on international visitors entering the US by requiring them to be tested for COVID-19 24 hours before travel, instead of 72 hours, which is the norm. for vaccinated travelers. (Unvaccinated travelers have been asked to take the test within 24 hours.) The White House is also considering requiring travelers to take a COVID test within a few days of arrival, but has not It is clear whether they will have to be isolated until the results are available. back, as is the practice in places like the UK

South Australia on Wednesday announced that, immediately, all international travelers will have to isolate in their own dedicated hotels for 14 days, regardless of their immunization status, to try to prevent Omicron from working. Fiji, on the other hand, open its borders for international travelers after being closed as of May 2020. Visitors will be required to quarantine until a negative COVID test result is obtained.

New cases of the variant continue to appear, but it has yet to be identified in the US. Saudi Arabia confirmed its first known case on Wednesday in a traveler who had been to the north rather than south, Africa, according to Saudi state media. New cases were also reported in Ghana, South Korea, Ireland and Brazil. To date, this variant has been found in 23 countries worldwide, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, South Africa continues to grapple with a surge in new cases, but one doctor told CNN that most people with the Omicron variant are young and almost all cases are mild. Angelique Coetzee tells CNN’s New Day So far very few Omicron patients have even been hospitalized. “We need to get the message across to the world that this is not the cause of serious illness,” she said. “We can treat most of these cases at home.” She said the symptoms she experienced in Omicron were “unusual fatigue” and an itchy throat, mild body aches and discomfort.

The European Union was in trouble when Omicron hit. The World Health Organization has identified the region as the epicenter of the fourth wave due to an increase in cases linked to the Delta variant, which is more deadly. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “We are now facing a double challenge in the fight against COVID-19. “Delta’s rapid resurgence across Europe and a new variant of interest: Omicron.”

She suggests that travel bans are reviewed on a daily basis and that EU member states try to work together to address the restrictions. Since there is no land border control in the EU’s Shengen region, a banned tourist can easily fly into one country and travel by train or car to another. Omicron’s Nigeria cases deepen various mysteries, as countries change travel strategies as scientists Learn More


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