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Omicron: WHO considers travel bans ineffective, Latin America affected – 12/01/2021 03:00 pm

AFP / Philip FONG at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on November 30, 2021

AFP / Philip FONG at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on November 30, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday ruled that travel restrictions were unnecessary to prevent the spread of a new variant of the Omicron corona virus, which was first detected in Latin America.

Officially announced in South Africa on November 24th, this highly contagious new variant may have actually started to spread around the world several days ago, Dutch health officials announced on Tuesday that Omicron was already in circulation in the Netherlands on November 19th.

Two test samples taken on November 19 and 23 showed Omicron in the Netherlands and one of the two victims had not recently traveled, which is already spreading across the country, according to the Dutch Institute of Health and Environment (RIVM). )

On Tuesday evening, it was announced that Brazil had registered its first two cases, the first among travelers from Latin America and South Africa.

But the WHO said in a technical document that “public travel restrictions will not prevent the spread of this variation.”

Faced with panic gripping the planet, WHO President Tedros Adonom Gabrias called for a “quiet” response on Tuesday, asking for a “rational” and “proportional” response.

“Many member states are taking common and brutal measures that are not resource-based or effective and will only exacerbate disparities between nations,” he said.

Since South Africa announced the emergence of this new variant last week, many states have closed their borders to that country and its neighbors, sparking outrage in the region.

The WHO warned that these measures could “have a negative impact on global health efforts during an epidemic, encouraging nations to report and share epidemiological and sorting data.”

– Several months for vaccination? –

A group of U.S. scientists spoke Tuesday in support of the possible optimism for Covid-19 patients from the Merck lab in the United States in favor of emergency recognition of some patients at risk for the pill against the disease.

At the end of the one-day debate these experts’ votes were close, with 13 in favor and 10 against, and the final decision on approving the drug would be with the US Agency for Drugs (FDA).

As the world questions the answer to the Omicron variant with many mutations, Stephen Boncel, head of vaccine manufacturer Moderna, predicted an “significant drop” in the performance of current serums in an interview with the Financial Times.

According to him, it took many months to create a new one. “All the scientists I’ve talked to (…) say + this is not going to do +”, he assures us.

Pictures of the structure of the spike protein of the delta and omigron types provided by Pampino Case Hospital in Rome and the variations observed compared to the original one of SARS-CoV-2 (AFP /).

Pictures of the structure of the spike protein of the delta and omigron types provided by Pampino Case Hospital in Rome and the variations observed compared to the original one of SARS-CoV-2 (AFP /).

Various manufacturers, including Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech and Novavax, have expressed confidence in the ability to develop a new vaccine against Kovit-19. Russia has also announced that it will launch a version of its Sputnik V specifically targeting Omigron.

This new strain is now found on all continents. But Europe, facing a new wave, seems to have been the hardest hit and has stepped up measures to prevent the epidemic.

As the epidemic erupted, Germany on Tuesday made compulsory vaccination, subject to legislation submitted to parliament by the end of the year. “Many have not been vaccinated,” future president Olaf Scholes told Built TV.

In the UK, wearing a mask was made mandatory again on Tuesday in transport and shops, and all incoming passengers must be self-isolated until the PCR test is completed.

A man receives the Govt-19 vaccine dose on November 29, 2021 at a public park in Washington, DC (AFP / Jim Watson)

A man receives the Govt-19 vaccine dose on November 29, 2021 at a public park in Washington, DC (AFP / Jim Watson)

France on Tuesday reported the first case of the Omigran variant on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, and is now recommending vaccination for children between the ages of five and eleven who are at risk for an acute form of Govt disease.

On Tuesday evening, two cases of the corona virus caused by Omicron were reported in Switzerland.

In Asia and Japan, “all foreign entries” have been banned since Tuesday, three weeks after the easing of some restrictions, and the government has confirmed Omigran’s first case against a returnee from Namibia.

On Tuesday, it banned travelers from Canada, Malawi, Nigeria and Egypt from entering its borders, bringing the number of countries affected by the move – all Africans – to 10.

– High Speed ​​Rise –

Global assessment of the novel corona virus infection until November 30 at 11:00 GMT (AFP /)

Global assessment of the novel corona virus infection until November 30 at 11:00 GMT (AFP /)

Since the appearance of Delta, the variant of Covit-19 has never been of much concern, now dominating, and already highly contagious.

The WHO considers the “probability of spreading Omicron globally” to be “high”, despite many unknowns: the severity of the infection, the effectiveness of existing vaccines, and the symptoms.

To be sure, to date no deaths associated with Omicron have been reported.

In South Africa, most new infections are already linked to Omigran, suggesting that this variant has great potential to spread.

On Tuesday, global stock markets and oil prices fell sharply against Omicron’s gains. Wall Street fell sharply to 1.86% at the end of November.

According to AFP, the Govt-19 epidemic has killed at least 5,206,370 people in China since its outbreak in late 2019.

burx-mba / tbm / bds / mav / roc

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