UK, Germany, Italy Detect Omicron Covid Variant Cases; Indian states are ready to respond amidst fear


investors feared Omicron could block a global recovery after the nearly two-year pandemic.

Israel has said it will ban all foreigners from entering the country and reintroduce anti-terrorism phone tracking technology to contain the spread of the variant.

The two linked Omicron cases detected in Britain were linked to a trip to southern Africa, UK Health Minister Sajid Javid said.

Johnson introduced measures that included stricter testing rules for people arriving in the country, but that did not limit social activities other than wearing a mask in some settings.

“We will require anyone entering the UK to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after arriving and self-isolate until they test negative,” Johnson said during ‘a press conference.

People who had come into contact with people who tested positive for a suspected case of Omicron would have to self-isolate for 10 days and the government would tighten the rules on wearing face coverings, Johnson said, adding that the steps would be reviewed in three weeks.

The Bavarian German state health ministry has also announced two confirmed cases of the variant. The two entered Germany at Munich airport on November 24, before Germany designated South Africa as a variant virus zone, and are now isolating themselves, the ministry said, indicating without explicitly specifying that people had traveled from South Africa.

In Italy, the National Institute of Health said a case of the new variant had been detected in Milan in a person from Mozambique.

Czech health officials have also said they are examining a suspected variant case in a person who has spent time in Namibia.

Omicron, labeled a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization, is potentially more contagious than previous variants of the disease, although experts are not yet sure whether it will cause more or less COVID-19 severe compared to other strains.

England Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty told the same press conference as Johnson that there was still a lot of uncertainty around Omicron, but “there is a reasonable chance that at least there is a certain degree of vaccine escape with this variant ”.

The variant was first discovered in South Africa and has also since been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.

Indian states are ready to respond

Amid growing fears of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus around the world, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) held a meeting where it decided to issue new guidelines for airport authorities.

Travelers from African countries where cases of the novel variant of the Omicron coronavirus have been discovered should be examined, officials have ordered Mumbai City Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal. Passports of international passengers should be checked at Mumbai airport and medical tests should be performed if a person has been to any of the African countries where the new variant has been found, he said.

If found positive for the infection, such a person should be placed in institutional quarantine, Chahal said, according to an official statement. Samples from these passengers should be sent for genome sequencing, he added. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation convened a meeting of various authorities in the evening, including the police, the airport, superintendents of major municipal hospitals, health officials and members of the Maharashtra Covid-19 task force to discuss the precautions to be taken in view of concerns about Omicron.

There are no direct flights to Mumbai from African countries, but as a precaution, Chahal asked the airport administration to collect travel information for the last fortnight of all international arrivals. . BMC’s Jumbo Covid Centers should be reinspected to make sure they are functioning properly and vaccination should be speeded up, he said.

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