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Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant detected in many countries as scientists race to find answers

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The Omicron coronavirus variant spread around the world on Sunday, with new cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia indeed as further countries assessed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was not yet certain if Omicron, first identified in Southern Africa, is more contagious than different variations, or then again assuming it causes more serious infection.

"Primer information recommends that there are expanding paces of hospitalization in South Africa, yet this might be because of expanding generally quantities of individuals becoming contaminated, rather than a consequence of explicit disease," WHO said.

It said understanding the position of the inflexibility of Omicron "will take days to several weeks".

The detection of Omicron triggered worldwide caution as governments all around the imposed new travel controls and monetary business sectors auctions off, dreading the variation could oppose immunizations and overturn an incipient financial resuming following a two-year worldwide pandemic.

In its assertion, the WHO said it was working with specialized specialists to comprehend the expected effect of the variation on existing countermeasures against COVID-19, including antibodies.

LONDON: Britain said it will convene an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers on Monday to discuss the developments.

Dutch health authorities said 13 instances of the variation were found among people on two flights that arrived in Amsterdam from South Africa on Friday. Authorities had tested all of the further than 600 passengers on the flights and found 61 coronavirus cases, going on to test those for Omicron.

"This might be a glimpse of something larger," Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told reporters.

Omicron, named a "variation of concern" last week by the WHO that is possibly more infectious than past variations, has now been distinguished in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Canada, and South Africa.

Many countries have forced travel bans or checks on Southern Africa to attempt to stem the spread.

A South African doctor who was one of the first to speculate an alternate Covid strain said on Sunday that side effects of Omicron were so far gentle and could be treated at home.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, let Reuters know that not at all like with Delta, so far patients have not detailed loss of smell or taste and there has been no significant drop in oxygen levels with the new variation.


In the most far-reaching effort to keep the variation under control, Israel announced late on Saturday it would ban the entry of all foreigners and once again introduce counter-psychological warfare telephone following innovation to contain the spread of the variation.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the ban, pending government approval, would last 14 days. Officers hope that within that period there will be further information on how effective vaccines are against Omicron.

The top U.S.  official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told President Joe Biden on Sunday it will require around fourteen days to have more authoritative data about the contagiousness and different attributes of Omicron, the White House said in a statement, adding that Fauci believes being vaccines "are likely to give a degree of protection against severe cases of COVID".

In Britain, the government authority has announced measures including stricter testing rules for individuals arriving in the country and requiring cover wearing in certain settings.

More countries reported new travel controls on southern African countries on Sunday, including Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

South Africa has censured the actions as unreasonable and possibly harmful to its economy, saying it is being punished for its scientific ability to identify Covid variations early.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday that his administration was considering imposing obligatory COVID-19 shots for people in specific places and exercises, and he slammed rich Western countries for what he called their knee-jerk imposition of travel bans.

"The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant," Ramaphosa said

Omicron (B.1.1.529) has arisen as many countries in Europe are as of now doing combating a surge in COVID-19 contaminations, with some once again introducing limitations on social activity to try to stop the spread.

The new variant has also thrown the limelight on the huge difference in vaccination rates around the globe. Indeed, as many well-developed countries are giving third-cure boosters, lower than 7% of people in poorer countries have received their first COVID-19 shot, according to medical and human rights groups.

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