Omicron journey bans harming world cooperation, WHO warns

UN warns journey bans are hindering the sharing of samples from South Africa that would make clear the brand new variant.

The World Well being Group has stated journey bans are having an influence on world cooperation in opposition to the Omicron coronavirus variant by delaying the sharing of laboratory samples from South Africa that would assist analysis into the brand new pressure.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, stated that South African researchers have been eager to share info, information, and samples, however that journey bans “have triggered some challenges for these samples to really be shipped in a foreign country”.

Scientists have been scrambling to study extra in regards to the results of the Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa final week. It has now been reported in no less than 24 international locations.

Whereas stays unclear the place or when the variant first emerged, nations have rushed to impose journey restrictions, particularly on guests coming from Southern Africa, regardless of the WHO’s name for “rational” measures in response to the brand new pressure.

The primary confirmed case of the Omicron variant in america has been detected in an individual in California, the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention stated on Wednesday.

This weblog is now closed. Right here had been the primary updates from Wednesday:

1 Dec 2021 – 20:31 GMT

Portugal’s soccer league stated that each one skilled gamers should get examined for COVID-19 beforeevery match after a recreation needed to be deserted final week as a consequence of an outbreak.

The league stated in a press release that it had knowledgeable golf equipment that each one gamers should take an antigen check 48 hours earlier than a match and stated masks should be used on the bench.

Lisbon membership Belenenses SAD began with solely 9 gamers of their Primeira Liga match in opposition to Benfica on Saturday, with the remainder of the squad isolating at dwelling after quite a few gamers and workers examined constructive for COVID-19.

1 Dec 2021 – 20:13 GMT

Well being officers confirmed Brazil’s third identified case of the Omicron coronavirus variant as the federal government examined doable new measures to comprise the virus.

A passenger from Ethiopia examined constructive for COVID-19 upon touchdown in Sao Paulo on November 27, the state’s well being secretariat stated in a press release.

The 29-year-old man is vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer shot and is in good well being, officers stated.

1 Dec 2021 – 19:33 GMT

Lebanon will impose a nighttime curfew beginning on December 17 for non-vaccinated individuals for 3 weeks and can make full vaccination necessary for all employees in a number of sectors as a consequence of issues over the unfold of coronavirus, the COVID-19 committee stated on Wednesday.

Vaccination will probably be necessary for all civil servants and employees within the well being, schooling, tourism and public transport sectors as of January 10, the committee stated.

Lebanon has not recorded any infections with Omicron, however the small nation enduring a extreme monetary disaster is anxious its healthcare system won’t be able to deal with a brand new peak of infections.

Lebanon’s Well being Minister Firass Abiad stated the COVID committee needed to keep away from imposing a full lockdown.

1 Dec 2021 – 19:13 GMT

The United Arab Emirates has introduced its first case of the brand new COVID-19 variant Omicron. The state information company WAM reported that the contaminated individual was an African girl arriving from an African nation via an Arab nation.

UAE is the second Gulf nation to detect an Omicron case after Saudi Arabia introduced its first case earlier on Wednesday.

1 Dec 2021 – 19:11 GMT

The Nationwide Institute for Communicable Illnesses (NICD) stated 8,561 new circumstances had been reported nationwide throughout 24 hours, up from nearly 4,400 on Tuesday and a pair of,300 on Monday.

There had been an “exponential enhance” over the previous two weeks, from a weekly common of round 300 new circumstances per day to 1,000 final week and most just lately 3,500, stated Michelle Groome of NCID famous.

1 Dec 2021 – 18:59 GMT

Well being officers in California have detected the primary confirmed case of the Omicron coronavirus variant in america. The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) stated that the case concerned a traveller who returned from South Africa on November 22.

“The person, who was totally vaccinated and had delicate signs which can be enhancing, is self-quarantining and has been since testing constructive. All shut contacts have been contacted and have examined adverse,” the CDC stated.

Learn extra right here.

1 Dec 2021 – 18:52 GMT

United Nations Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres stated journey restrictions imposed over COVID-19 that isolate anyone nation or area as “not solely deeply unfair and punitive – they’re ineffective”.

“With a virus that’s actually borderless, journey restrictions that isolate anyone nation or area aren’t solely deeply unfair and punitive – they’re ineffective,” Guterres stated at a information convention, calling as a substitute for elevated testing for travellers.

Guterres stated international locations that had reported the emergence of the brand new pressure shouldn’t “be collectively punished for figuring out and sharing essential science and well being info with the world.”

1 Dec 2021 – 18:49 GMT

All airline passengers coming into Denmark from Doha or Dubai should take a compulsory COVID-19 check, a transfer aimed toward delaying the unfold of the brand new Omicron variant, Danish well being minister Magnus Heunicke stated.

“Individuals who land from Dubai and Doha will need to have a check earlier than they depart the airport,” Heunicke instructed a information briefing.

1 Dec 2021 – 18:24 GMT

The UK reported 48,374 new COVID-19 circumstances on Wednesday and 171 extra deaths inside 28 days of a constructive check, official information confirmed.

The entire variety of deaths has now reached 145,140 whereas there have been 10.2 million constructive circumstances, the figures confirmed.

1 Dec 2021 – 18:00 GMT

Italy reported 103 coronavirus-related deaths in opposition to 89 the day earlier than, the well being ministry stated, whereas the each day tally of latest infections rose to fifteen,085 from 12,764.

The rely marks the primary time Italy reported greater than 100 each day coronavirus deaths since June 8.

1 Dec 2021 – 17:20 GMT

The World Well being Group says journey bans by international locations are having an influence on world cooperation in opposition to the brand new Omicron variant by inflicting “challenges” to the sharing of laboratory samples from South Africa that may assist get higher grips on the brand new variant.

WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus referred to as for “tailor-made” intervention by international locations, together with testing travellers earlier than and after they arrive in a rustic, and suggested in opposition to “blanket journey bans” that “place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.”

1 Dec 2021 – 16:47 GMT

The Omicron variant has been detected in 5 out of 9 South African provinces and accounted for 74 p.c of the virus genomes sequenced in November, information from the nation’s Nationwide Institute for Communicable Illnesses confirmed.

1 Dec 2021 – 16:20 GMT

The UN company WHO expects to have extra info on the transmissibility of the Omicron pressure inside days, its technical lead on COVID-19, Maria van Kerkhove, stated in a briefing.

That was quicker than the “weeks” the WHO had predicted final week that it could take to evaluate the info out there on the variant after designating it a “variant of concern”, its highest score.

She stated one doable situation was that the brand new variant, which was first reported in southern Africa, could also be extra transmissible than the dominant Delta variant. She stated it was not but identified if Omicron makes individuals extra in poor health.

1 Dec 2021 – 15:59 GMT

The World Well being Group warned a “poisonous combine” of low testing charges and vaccination protection was creating fertile breeding floor for brand new coronavirus variants.

The WHO stated measures to cease the globally dominant Delta variant would additionally hinder Omicron, first found in November in southern Africa and which has since rattled international locations world wide.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus referred to as on international locations to optimise their public well being and social measures to regulate the unfold of COVID-19.

Media briefing on #COVID19 with @DrTedros

— World Well being Group (WHO) (@WHO) December 1, 2021

1 Dec 2021 – 15:26 GMT

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen stated the EU ought to maintain discussions on necessary vaccinations in opposition to COVID-19.

Despite the fact that it’s as much as particular person member states to determine whether or not to make vaccines necessary, von der Leyen referred to as for a typical strategy and a dialogue on the EU stage.

“I feel it’s comprehensible and applicable to guide this dialogue now, how we will encourage and doubtlessly take into consideration necessary vaccination throughout the European Union, this wants dialogue,” she stated.

1 Dec 2021 – 14:51 GMT

South Korea confirmed its first 5 circumstances of the brand new Omicron coronavirus variant in individuals linked to arrivals from Nigeria, prompting the federal government to tighten the nation’s borders.

The Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company stated the circumstances embrace a pair who arrived from Nigeria on November 24 and a pal who drove them dwelling from the airport.

The 2 different circumstances had been ladies who additionally travelled to Nigeria and returned to South Korea on November 23.

1 Dec 2021 – 14:05 GMT

Germany is more likely to attain a peak of its fourth wave of COVID-19 infections by mid-December and this might imply 6,000 intensive care beds occupied by Christmas, the nation’s affiliation for intensive care medication (DIVI) stated.

Andreas Schuppert, a forecaster for the DIVI affiliation, instructed a information convention he was “reasonably optimistic” the height in new circumstances would come within the subsequent two weeks, however warned this is able to take time to have its full influence on hospitals.

“It’s an ominous scenario,” DIVI president Gernot Marx instructed reporters. “We might be effectively suggested to react instantly. We should get forward of the scenario.”

Whats up. That is Usaid Siddiqui taking on from my colleague Farah Najar in Doha, Qatar.

1 Dec 2021 – 13:07 GMT

France has stated it would begin permitting flights from Southern Africa to land on its territory from Saturday, however with “drastic” restrictions permitting solely French and European Union residents to disembark, together with diplomats and flight crews.

These travellers should bear a COVID check upon arrival, with a adverse consequence nonetheless requiring a seven-day quarantine, whereas a constructive check would require a 10-day quarantine, stated authorities spokesman Gabriel Attal after a weekly cupboard assembly.

1 Dec 2021 – 12:49 GMT

Vietnam will droop flights to and from seven African international locations over issues in regards to the unfold of the Omicron variant, state media reported.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has authorized the suspension, the Lao Dong newspaper reported, with out saying when the transfer will come into impact.

1 Dec 2021 – 12:38 GMT

Travellers reaching France from exterior the EU will probably be topic to the duty of a adverse COVID-19 check, no matter their vaccination standing, French authorities spokesman Gabrial Attal has stated.

Speaking to journalists after a authorities assembly, Attal stated choices relating to intra-EU journey could be coordinated by European leaders later this week.

Portugal’s authorities is not going to hesitate to impose restrictions in the course of the Christmas pageant if they’re wanted to regulate a current surge in COVID-19 circumstances, Prime Minister Antonio Costa has stated.

Regardless of having one of many world’s highest vaccination charges, a current uptick in infections and the emergence of the Omicron variant has prompted the federal government to reimpose some restrictions since Wednesday.

When requested if the federal government may take additional restrictive measures throughout Christmas, Costa stated, “All of us want that these measures aren’t crucial, but when they grow to be crucial, we’ll take these measures.

“We should at all times be vigilant to take new measures, if crucial. That’s how we’ve been residing for the previous two years and we’ve managed to prevail, though it’s been exhausting for everybody,” Costa instructed reporters.

1 Dec 2021 – 11:53 GMT

Ghana’s well being ministry has detected the nation’s first circumstances of the Omicron variant in passengers who arrived on the Kotoka Worldwide Airport in Accra following sequencing that was carried out on November 21, the director normal of the Ghana Well being Service stated.

1 Dec 2021 – 11:45 GMT

The EU wants each day evaluations of its journey restrictions and speedy deployment of vaccine booster doses to restrict entry and shield its residents from the Omicron variant, the European Fee has stated.

Europe is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 circumstances and a rising variety of infections by the Omicron variant.

“We are actually dealing with a double problem within the combat in opposition to COVID-19,” European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen stated in a tweet. “The speedy resurgence of Delta throughout Europe and a brand new variant of concern: Omicron.”

We are actually dealing with a double problem within the combat in opposition to #COVID19.

The speedy resurgence of Delta throughout Europe and a brand new variant of concern: Omicron.

Full vaccination and boosters present the strongest safety there may be. And they’re out there now.

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 1, 2021

1 Dec 2021 – 11:09 GMT

Norway has recognized its first two circumstances of the Omicron variant, the west coast municipality of Oeygarden stated.

The 2 contaminated individuals had been on a visit to South Africa. Each of them are presently recovering from the an infection, Mayor Tom Georg Indrevik stated in a press release.

Norway on Friday determined to impose a quarantine on any travellers arriving from South Africa or neighbouring international locations, following an identical resolution by Denmark.

Uzbekistan has stated it could droop flights to and from Hong Kong, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Tanzania and South Africa from December 3 to curb the unfold of the Omicron variant.

The Central Asian nation’s well being ministry stated residents of these nations and individuals who have just lately visited them could be unable to enter Uzbekistan, whereas these arriving from Egypt, Israel, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic could be quarantined for 10 days.

1 Dec 2021 – 09:41 GMT

World Well being Group member states agreed to begin work on constructing a brand new worldwide accord setting out how you can deal with the subsequent world pandemic.

Nations adopted a decision at a particular assembly in Geneva, launching the method that ought to lead to a brand new settlement on pandemic preparedness and response coming into power in 2024.

“The textual content earlier than us is the product of intensive discussions, of frank exchanges and of compromises,” stated Australia’s ambassador Sally Mansfield, who co-chaired the working group. “Allow us to transfer ahead collectively in solidarity to do the exhausting work that we now have forward of us.”

1 Dec 2021 – 08:54 GMT

Saudi Arabia has detected its first case of the brand new Omicron variant, the state-run Saudi Press Company (SPA) has reported.

Quoting a supply from the well being ministry, SPA stated the contaminated particular person has been remoted together with those that had been in shut contact with them.

It’s the first Omicron variant case reported within the Gulf area. The well being ministry stated the individual was a Saudi nationwide who had travelled from a North African nation, with out giving additional particulars.

The Saudi ministry urged individuals to finish their vaccination and ordered travellers to respect self-isolation and testing guidelines.

1 Dec 2021 – 08:43 GMT

An individual contaminated with the Omicron variant participated in a big live performance on Saturday, the Danish Affected person Security Authority has stated.

The individual was one in all 1,600 individuals attending a live performance with Danish DJ Martin Jensen within the northern metropolis of Aalborg on Saturday.

Denmark has already confirmed 4 circumstances of the brand new Omicron variant, all of whom had travelled to South Africa.

A spokesperson for the Danish Affected person Security Authority couldn’t confirm if the contaminated concert-goer had been travelling.

1 Dec 2021 – 08:42 GMT

The EU-wide rollout of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine model for five- to 11-year-old kids will start on December 13, one week sooner than beforehand deliberate, Germany’s well being ministry has stated.

Germany is because of obtain 2.4 million doses to be used as a two-dose routine, the ministry stated, including it has a dedication on the brand new date from the producer.

“Given the present pandemic scenario, that is excellent news for folks and kids. Many are awaiting this eagerly,” appearing Well being Minister Jens Spahn stated within the assertion.

The primary two circumstances of the Omicron variant had been detected in Brazil, which is also the primary circumstances in Latin America.

Samples from two Brazilians who examined constructive for the variant via the famend Albert Einstein Hospital could be despatched for confirmatory laboratory evaluation, a press release from Brazil’s well being surveillance company Anvisa stated.

In accordance with the information portal G1, the circumstances contain Brazilian missionaries residing in South Africa.

1 Dec 2021 – 08:09 GMT

British Well being Secretary Sajid Javid has urged individuals to ebook a COVID-19 booster shot as he stated there have been 22 confirmed circumstances of the Omicron virus variant within the nation.

Javid stated the federal government believed a booster marketing campaign would assist shield in opposition to extreme illness from Omicron, even when it seems that vaccines aren’t as efficient in opposition to the variant as earlier strains of the illness.

Britain plans to supply all adults a COVID-19 booster shot by the tip of January. Authorities information exhibits 81 p.c of the inhabitants aged above 12 have had two doses of the vaccine, whereas 32 p.c have had a booster shot or third dose.

1 Dec 2021 – 08:06 GMT

Dr Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi of WHO Africa has stated they’re attempting to warn different international locations of the “emergency that is perhaps coming via”, including that shutting down borders shouldn’t be the reply.

“These international locations, they’re going to … attempt their stage finest to get ready,” she stated.

“However closing the borders, or banning sure international locations from coming into – I don’t suppose is the reply.”

1 Dec 2021 – 07:55 GMT

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s prime infectious illness official, has urged those that aren’t vaccinated to get the jab, and people who are, to hunt a booster shot.

“In the event you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated,” Fauci stated. “Get boosted in case you are vaccinated,” he added.

He additionally referred to as on individuals to proceed to make use of the “mitigation strategies”, akin to sporting “masks, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated areas”.

“Select outside slightly than indoors, preserve your distance, wash your fingers, check and isolate if applicable,” he added.

1 Dec 2021 – 07:42 GMT

France has determined to increase till no less than Saturday its suspension of flights from Southern African international locations which have been hit exhausting by the Omicron variant, stated French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune.

“As of this morning, we now have prolonged the suspension of flights from seven Southern African international locations till Saturday,” Beaune instructed RTL radio.

1 Dec 2021 – 07:41 GMT

The US is shifting to require that each one air travellers coming into the nation present a adverse COVID-19 check carried out inside someday of departure in response to issues in regards to the new Omicron variant, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) stated.

At the moment, vaccinated worldwide air travellers can current a adverse check consequence obtained inside three days from their level of departure. Practically all overseas nationals should be vaccinated to enter america. Unvaccinated travellers presently should get a adverse COVID-19 check inside someday of arrival.

The brand new one-day testing requirement would apply equally to US residents in addition to overseas nationals.

1 Dec 2021 – 07:28 GMT

Japan has requested airways to cease taking new incoming flight bookings over issues in regards to the Omicron variant, the transport ministry stated.

“We have now requested airways to halt accepting all new incoming flight reservations for one month beginning December 1,” a transport ministry official instructed the AFP information company, including that current bookings wouldn’t be affected.

1 Dec 2021 – 07:04 GMT

4 individuals in southern Germany have examined constructive for the Omicron variant regardless that they had been totally vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus, the general public well being workplace within the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg stated.

Three of the contaminated individuals returned from a enterprise journey to South Africa on November 26 and November 27 respectively, and the fourth individual is a member of the family of one of many returnees, the state public well being workplace stated.

“All 4 individuals are totally vaccinated. A mutation evaluation carried out by the State Well being Workplace has confirmed that each one of them are contaminated with the brand new variant of concern,” the workplace stated in a press release, including that each one 4 had been in quarantine.

All 4 confirmed average signs.

Japan has discovered a second one who has examined constructive with the Omicron pressure, broadcaster FNN reported.

The primary case of the variant was found on Tuesday.

The nation expanded its journey ban masking all overseas inbound travellers – together with momentary or everlasting residents – from South Africa and 9 close by international locations starting on Thursday.

1 Dec 2021 – 06:47 GMT

Nigeria has confirmed two circumstances of the brand new Omicron coronavirus variant amongst travellers who arrived within the nation final week from South Africa.

The Nigeria Centre for Illness Management (NCDC) additionally stated retrospective sequencing of beforehand confirmed circumstances amongst passengers to Nigeria had recognized the mutation amongst a pattern collected in October. It didn’t present additional particulars.

“Given the extremely possible elevated transmissibility of the Omicron variant, it’s crucial to place in place measures to curb group transmission,” the NCDC stated in a press release.

1 Dec 2021 – 06:06 GMT

Malaysia will briefly ban the entry of travellers from international locations which have reported circumstances of the Omicron variant or are thought of high-risk, its well being ministry has stated.

It is going to additionally delay plans to arrange so-called Vaccinated Journey Lanes with these international locations, Well being Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stated.

1 Dec 2021 – 06:06 GMT

The UK has reported eight new circumstances of the Omicron variant, taking the full quantity to 13.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated a brand new COVID-19 lockdown was unlikely regardless of worries in regards to the new variant.

1 Dec 2021 – 06:02 GMT

A panel of US well being advisers narrowly backed a carefully watched COVID-19 tablet from Merck, setting the stage for a probable authorisation of the primary drug that Individuals may take at dwelling to deal with the coronavirus.

The Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) panel voted 13-10 that the antiviral drug molnupiravir’s advantages outweigh its dangers, together with potential beginning defects if used throughout being pregnant.

“I see this as an extremely tough resolution with many extra questions than solutions,” stated panel chair Dr Lindsey Baden of Harvard Medical College, who voted in favour of the drug. He stated the FDA must fastidiously tailor the drug’s use for sufferers who stand to learn most.

Molnupiravir has already been authorised to be used in the UK.

Grim report comes as 4 ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed peo­ple in south­ern Ger­many check pos­i­tive for Omi­cron vari­ant.

New coro­n­avirus pressure con­firmed in a per­son in Cal­i­for­nia who re­turned from South Africa final month, CDC says.

Sau­di Ara­bia, Nige­ria, Nor­means, Ghana con­agency first cas­es of latest Omi­cron COVID vari­ant as coun­tries tight­en trav­el guidelines.

Greater than 30 coun­tries have im­posed trav­el bans fol­low­ing the unfold of the Omi­cron coro­n­avirus mu­ta­tion.


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