COVID variant spreads to more countries as world on alert | AP News

Cases of the coronavirus' new omicron variant, first identified in southern Africa, have now been reported in countries from Britain to Hong Kong. Dr. Anthony Fauci says it hasn't been detected in the U.S. yet, but may already be there as well.

Coronavirus Pandemic, Business

11/28/2021 3:10:00 AM

Cases of the coronavirus' new omicron variant, first identified in southern Africa , have now been reported in countries from Britain to Hong Kong. Dr. Anthony Fauci says it hasn't been detected in the U.S. yet, but may already be there as well.

LONDON (AP) — The new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more Europe an countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa , leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread.

and associated lockdown restrictions will persist for far longer than hoped.Nearly two years since the start of the pandemic that has claimed more than 5 million lives around the world, countries are on high alert. Many have already imposed travel restrictions on flights from southern Africa as they seek to buy time to assess whether the omicron variant is more transmissible than the current dominant delta variant.

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In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was necessary to take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people tested positive for the new variant in England.“Right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximize our defenses,” he told a news conference.

Among the measures announced, Johnson said anyone arriving in England must take a PCR test for COVID-19 on the second day after their arrival and self-isolate until they provide a negative test. And if someone tests positive for the omicron variant, then he said their close contacts will have to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status — currently close contacts are exempt from quarantine rules if they are fully vaccinated. headtopics.com

He also said mask-wearing in shops and on public transport will be required and said the independent group of scientists that advises the British government on the rollout of coronavirus vaccines has been asked to accelerate the vaccination program. This could involve widening the booster program to younger age groups, reducing the time period between a second dose and a booster and allowing older children to get a second dose.

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“From today we’re going to boost the booster campaign,” he said.Britain’s Department of Health said the two cases found in the U.K. were linked and involved travel from southern Africa. One of the two new cases was in the southeastern English town of Brentwood, while the other was in the central city of Nottingham. The two confirmed cases are self-isolating with their households while contact tracing and targeted testing takes place.

The British government also added four more countries — Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia — onto the country’s travel red list from Sunday. Six others — Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe — were added Friday. That means anyone permitted to arrive from those destinations will have to quarantine.

Many countries have slapped restrictions on various southern African countries over the past couple of days, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Thailand and the United States, in response to warnings over the transmissibility of the new variant. This goes against the advice of the World Health Organization, which has warned against any overreaction before the variant was thoroughly studied. headtopics.com

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Despite the banning of flights, there are mounting concerns that the variant has already been widely seeded around the world.Italy and Germany were the latest to report confirmed cases of the omicron variant.An Italian who had traveled to Mozambique on business landed in Rome on Nov. 11 and returned to his home near Naples. He and five family members, including two school-age children, have since tested positive, the Italian news agency LaPresse said. All are isolating in the Naples suburb of Caserta in good condition with light symptoms.

The variant was confirmed by Sacco hospital in Milan, and Italy’s National Health Institute said the man had received two doses of the vaccine. Italy’s health ministry is urging all regions to increase its tracing of the virus and sequencing to detect cases of the new variant first identified in South Africa.

In Germany, the Max von Pettenkofer Institute, a Munich-based microbiology center, said the omicron variant was confirmed in two travelers who arrived on a flight from South Africa on Nov. 24. The head of the institute, Oliver Keppler, said that genome sequencing has yet to be completed, but it is “proven without doubt that it is this variant,” German news agency dpa reported.

The Dutch public health institute said the omicron variant was “probably found in a number of the tested persons” who were isolated after arriving Friday in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa. The institute said in a statement that further sequencing analysis is underway to determine for sure that it is the new variant. The results were expected Sunday. A total of 61 people were tested. headtopics.com

Israel said it detected the new strain in a traveler who had returned from Malawi and was tracing 800 travelers who returned recently from southern African countries. And Australia said early Sunday its scientists were working to determine whether two people who tested positive for COVID after arriving from southern Africa are infected with the omicron variant.

The variant’s swift spread among young people inSouth Africahas alarmed health professionals even though there was no immediate indication whether the variant causes more severe disease.A number of pharmaceutical firms, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer, said they have plans in place to adapt their vaccines in light of the emergence of omicron. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said they expect to be able to tweak their vaccine in around 100 days.

Professor Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, which developed the AstraZeneca vaccine, expressed cautious optimism that existing vaccines could be effective at preventing serious disease from the omicron variant, noting that most of the mutations appear to be in similar regions as those in other variants.

“At least from a speculative point of view we have some optimism that the vaccine should still work against a new variant for serious disease, but really we need to wait several weeks to have that confirmed,” he told BBC radio.Some experts said the variant’s emergence illustrated how rich countries’ hoarding of vaccines threatens to prolong the pandemic.

Fewer than 6% of people in Africa have been fully immunized against COVID-19, and millions of health workers and vulnerable populations have yet to receive a single dose. Those conditions can speed up spread of the virus, offering more opportunities for it to evolve into a dangerous variant.

“One of the key factors to emergence of variants may well be low vaccination rates in parts of the world, and the WHO warning that none of us is safe until all of us are safe and should be heeded,” said Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Saturday with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, and they stressed the importance of working together to help African nations vaccinate their populations, the State Department said in a statement. It said Blinken praised South Africa’s scientists for quickly identifying the omicron variant and the government for its transparency in sharing this information, “which should serve as a model for the world.”

___Geir Moulson in Berlin, Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, Colleen Barry in Milan, Lynn Berry in Washington, and Fares Akram in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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maybe? OK good enough, torch the lot! Its the next 8 million variants that are going to be tough to identify. All the real scientists will have been snuffed out by then for trying to expose the truth. That picture accurately depicts Boris' grasp of the situation. It is already in the US and by next week they will say that the current vaccines don’t work against it. 😞

Still don't understand how we can say any certain variant is anywhere when admittedly the positive tests can not identify which mutation it is, instead only confirming that is the Rona. Seriously, if anyone 'expert' thinks they have googled it more than me?

World on alert as UK reports cases of omicron COVID variant | AP News LONDON (AP) — Britain became the latest country Saturday to report cases of the new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus as world governments sought to shore up their defenses by slapping restrictions on travel from nations in southern Africa . The government should recognize that Corona is a disease that must go together with mankind, discover and support new growth projects necessary to live with Corona without controlling the people, and find answers communication with the people through regular broadcast debate THIS WILL NEVER END. I ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʟᴏꜱᴛ ꜱᴏ ᴍᴜᴄʜ ʙɪᴛᴄᴏɪɴ ᴛᴏ ꜰʀᴀᴜᴅꜱ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴘʀᴏᴍɪꜱᴇᴅ ɴᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴛʀᴜꜱᴛ ᴀɴʏ ʙɪᴛᴄᴏɪɴ ᴘʟᴀᴛꜰᴏʀᴍ aɢᴀɪɴ ᴜɴᴛɪʟ ɪ ᴄᴀᴍᴇ ᴀᴄʀᴏꜱꜱ ᴛʜɪꜱ Trade Manager AMBREY__MARCUS_ , he helped me recover back all my lost funds now am debt free..

Viruses mutate and then they get weaker wake up people Yeah, if it's been reported in as many far-flung locations as that, you know it's already going to be here as well. Could of originated elsewhere. But as long as the majority of the global population isn't vaxed this isn't going to end well. International travel needs to stop. All you whining adult toddlers need to stop having hissy fits and grow up and get with the program. 🩹🍭🍭🍭

Just feeding more BS to the gullible! The new rules are not UK wide. Not across Great Britain. They are across England. Scotland, Wales and N Ireland already have the restrictions that England are bringing back Beijing Olympic will be forced to stop due to omicron. This is variant was created to scare you into getting the booster shot every 6 months.

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High alert: World scurries to contain new COVID variant | AP NewsTHE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — With each passing hour, new restrictions were being slapped on travel from countries in southern Africa as the world scurried Saturday to contain a new variant of the coronavirus that has the potential to be more resistant to the protection offered by vaccines. 61 positive people on two flights is a lot SADC

🖕🏻 The guy who to blame. Spread that fear Xi variant It will be everywhere by Monday. It’s either the UK scientists have not been testing or they have been lying (hiding info on the new variant). South Africa is being punished for its efficiency & ethical standards. Covid will always be with us. It is becoming endemic.

It's probably everywhere and has been for awhile

Concerns rise over Indonesia's sputtering COVID vaccinations | AP NewsJAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia has significantly recovered from a mid-year spike in coronavirus cases and deaths that was one of the worst in the region, but with its vaccination drive stalling due to logistical challenges and other issues, and with holidays approaching, experts and officials warn the island nation could soon face another surge. thanks They should increase the distribution and production of IVM and dump Pfizer in the ocean and order Covaxin from India

Maybe is such a lame answer. The answer is yes but since there isn’t transparency there can’t be admission. Texas took a break from reporting on pandemic metrics for the holiday. There could be a million Covid mutations. It's not going to change the fact that we are free and they have no power over us.

You can be sure it's here in The United States.

Stocks sink on new COVID variant; Dow Jones loses 890 points | AP NewsNEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell sharply Friday as a new highly transmissible coronavirus variant from South Africa appeared to be spreading across the globe, threatening months of progress at getting the pandemic under control. This strand is going to be worse than Delta. The reactions from the medical community are a clear indicator of that. Wondering if VaccineEquity could have helped us avoid this? Just keep in mind that the market is not a reflection on the general economy, just on the wealth of the wealthy.

Stocks sink on new COVID variant; Dow loses 905 points | AP NewsThe Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly fell more than 1,000 points amid investors' concerns about a new coronavirus variant's global spread. On a shortened day of Black Friday trading, the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all closed down, and oil prices fell 13%. Some quality equities went on sale for BlackFriday2021. Oil prices fell sharply? Well then I assume the gas prices will fall tomorrow. After all, they rise the next day when there's a spike in oil prices. It's not as if the gas companies are artificially and arbitrarily setting the prices, is it? Only good news is oil falling

Explainer: What we know about the COVID-19 variant detected in South AfricaGlobal authorities have reacted with alarm to a coronavirus variant detected in South Africa , with the EU, Britain and India among those announcing stricter border controls as scientists seek to determine if the mutation is vaccine-resistant. 'It's pretty bad' ADE