A cause for concern, not panic
And on Monday, the US President said Of the bygones The mutant is “a cause for concern, not panic,” and he urged Americans to get vaccinated, including a booster shot, as soon as they are eligible, and to wear masks in public.
“Sooner or later we’ll see new cases of this new species here in .” Biden said United StateAnd we will have to face this new threat just as we faced the cases that preceded it,” he added, adding that it was unlikely that new travel ban measures would be taken.
With cases of the mutant appearing in Hong Kong, Australia, Scotland and Sweden, many countries have chosen to be vigilant, while Japan, which has not yet detected any cases of the omicron, said on Monday it was reimposing its border controls.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said: “We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario,” according to the British Guardian newspaper.
In Israel, an overnight ban on foreigners went into effect, while Morocco said it would suspend all incoming flights for two weeks.
Australia said it would delay reopening its international borders by two weeks after reporting the first omicron cases, and India imposed mandatory on-arrival testing for travelers from dozens of countries including South Africa and Britain.
Scientists said it could take weeks to determine the severity of the “Omicron”, which was first detected in South Africa, but its appearance has already sparked a wave of reactions among governments who are concerned that it may hinder economic recovery.
The European Union is expected to hold a summit on the situation at the end of this week or early next week, according to senior officials, in an attempt to find a common approach on many issues, including doses. booster vaccine.
Despite warnings that closing borders could have a limited impact and wreak havoc on livelihoods and economies, countries that have chosen to impose stricter travel restrictions have argued that the restrictions would free up valuable time to analyze the new mutation of the pandemic virus. COVID-19.
South African infectious disease expert Professor Salem Abdel Karim said Omicron appears to be more transmissible, including among vaccinated people, but it is too early to say whether it is more virulent, while many experts have suggested that the new mutant may be More contagious, but may result in milder symptoms.
South Africa has been highly critical of the restrictions imposed by a growing number of countries on travel from the region, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa saying his country had been unfairly punished for discovering the mutated early on.
Increased cases of omicron
It is noteworthy that “Omicron” cases have already been reported in Europe, in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Scotland, before Portugal identified 13 injuries among members of the professional football team Belenenses, who had recently toured South Africa.
The Dutch authorities said that they had found another case, bringing the total number in the country to 14, all of whom were among 61 passengers who tested positive for the Corona virus, among the 621 passengers who were on two flights that arrived. Amsterdam From South Africa on Friday.
Poland said on Monday it would ban flights to seven African countries, extend quarantines for some travelers and further limit numbers allowed in places like restaurants amid concerns about the new alternative.
Intervals World Health Organization Any increase in cases could have serious consequences but she noted that no Omicron-related deaths have been reported so far.
WHO: The situation is precarious
The Director-General of the World Health Organization said, Tedros Adhanom GhebreyesusThe situation remains “precarious and unstable”.
Agency urged United nations The 194 member states are accelerating the vaccination of high-priority groups. She added that “Omicron has an unprecedented number of sudden mutations, some of which are worrisome for their potential impact on the course of the epidemic…The overall global risk related to the new variant… is assessed as very high.”
However, some countries were less anxious and tense and more relaxed, she said New Zealand It will restrict travel with 9 countries in southern Africa, but insisted it will go ahead with plans to reopen its doors internally after months of closure.
The Prime Minister said, Jacinda ArdernIt does not expect any further restrictions, and it is possible to reopen bars, restaurants and gyms in Auckland, ending a coronavirus shutdown that began in August.
“We’ve had COVID-19 in the past two years better than almost anywhere in the world,” Ardern said, noting the low death rates, the growing economy and high vaccination rates.