According to a health ministry report, there have been at least 61 new instances of Covid discovered in the Netherlands after they had shown up in South Africa.
An unvaccinated lady from Belgium has become Europe’s first known case of the variation, despite having traveled to Turkey and Egypt rather than the South African region where the strain first developed.
The Czech Republic and Germany, meanwhile, have also reported suspected cases today. According to Germany’s initial sequencing, Omicron has multiple mutations with the virus found in a tourist from South Africa. The whole sequencing is expected to be completed later today.
It’s also possible that the version has already infiltrated Australia, where authorities have already prohibited travel to nine other countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Although the number of new Covid cases in South Africa has more than doubled from the 1,374 instances reported on Thursday, infection levels in the nation have not yet skyrocketed, and no hospitalizations have occurred as a result of the new type.
One of the scientists behind the AstraZeneca vaccine, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard of the University of Oxford, voiced cautious confidence today that current vaccinations might be useful at avoiding severe sickness from the variation.
According to the UK’s Health and Security Agency, the strain reduces the effectiveness of immunizations by at least 40%.
Joe Biden, the President of the United States, has said that the epidemic would not stop unless worldwide vaccines are implemented. An emergency declaration was issued by the governor of New York yesterday when Covid transmission rates hit levels not seen since April 2020.
Britain canceled flights to South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe yesterday as Boris Johnson prepared to impose new travel restrictions on a number of nations.
Travel limits are one way the Prime Minister wants to avoid another lockdown after experts warned that restrictions might be restored in Britain this Christmas.
Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, said he is worried that Britons may not accept lockdown regulations this winter because of ‘behavioral fatigue’ produced by two years of limits on personal freedom.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor of the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA), cautioned that it was “likely” the strain was already in the country, despite the fact that no cases had been reported yet in the UK.