High alert: World scurries to contain new COVID variant | AP News

A host of countries are imposing travel restrictions on southern African countries to try to contain a new coronavirus variant. Dutch officials are checking for the new variant after 61 people on two flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19.

Coronavirus Pandemic, Health

11/27/2021 3:55:00 PM

A host of countries are imposing travel restrictions on southern African countries to try to contain a new coronavirus variant. Dutch officials are checking for the new variant after 61 people on two flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19.

THE 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.

Despite the shutdown of flights, there was increasing evidence that the variant is already spreading. Cases have been reported in travelers in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong, and Germany also has a probable case. Dutch authorities are checking for the new variant after 61 passengers on two flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19.

The global health body has namedthe new variant omicron, labeling it a variant of concern because of its high number of mutations and some early evidence that it carries a higher degree of infection than other variants. That means people who contracted COVID-19 and recovered could be subject to catching it again. It could take weeks to know if current vaccines are less effective against it.

Withso much uncertainty about the omicron variantand scientists unlikely to flesh out their findings for a few weeks, countries around the world have been taking a safety-first approach, in the knowledge that previous outbreaks of the pandemic have been partly fueled by lax border policies. headtopics.com

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“It seems to spread rapidly,” U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday of the new variant, only a day after celebrating the resumption of Thanksgiving gatherings for millions of American families and the sense that normal life was coming back at least for the vaccinated. In announcing new travel restrictions, he told reporters, “I’ve decided that we’re going to be cautious.”

Nearly two years on since the start of the pandemic that has claimed more than 5 million lives around the world, countries are on high alert.Dutch authorities have isolated 61 people who tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in the Netherlands on two flights from South Africa on Friday. They are carrying out further investigations to see if any of the travelers have the omicron variant.

The planes arrived in the Netherlands from Johannesburg and Cape Town shortly after the Dutch government imposed a ban on flights from southern African nations.The 539 travelers who tested negative were allowed to return home or continue their journeys to other countries. Under government regulations, those who live in the Netherlands and are allowed to return home must self-isolate for at least five days.

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A German official also said Saturday that there’s a “very high probability” that the omicron variant has already arrived in the country.Kai Klose, the health minister for Hesse state, which includes Frankfurt, said in a tweet that “several mutations typical of omicron” were found Friday night in a traveler returning from South Africa, who was isolated at home. Sequencing of the test had yet to be completed. headtopics.com

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. In just two weeks, omicron has turned a period of low transmission in the country into one of rapid growth.

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.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.

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He said most of the mutations appear to be in similar regions as those in other variants.“That tells you that despite those mutations existing in other variants the vaccines have continued to prevent serious disease as we’ve moved through alpha, beta, gamma and delta,” he told BBC radio. “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 added that it is “extremely unlikely that a reboot of a pandemic in a vaccinated population like we saw last year is going to happen.”Some experts said the variant’s emergence illustrated how rich countries’ hoarding of vaccines threatens to prolong the pandemic. headtopics.com

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.

___Pylas contributed from London. Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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W T F Racists! So says Joe Biden; so it was racist last year, but it's ok now. oh Belgium has Omicron. Is travel restricted there? ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Stop letting unvaccinated people on airplanes. Vaccination and masks should be a mandatory requirement for traveling. Until we take the pandemic seriously, coronavirus will win.

The entire planet needs to take quarantine for 14 days or whatever amount of time is necessary for a virus to die.Or go on life as usual with a yearly boosters wearing a mask indoors and washing my hands and 🙏🏻to stay healthy. AUGUST 2021 ALREADY STARTED, THE DESCENT! OF COVID-19. CHRISTMAS ALERT, DECEMBER! 2021. FEBRUARY 2022 PROPULSION! STUNNING OF A REAL AND EFFECTIVE DESCENT! OF COVID-19, ALL OVER THE PLANET, ON A GLOBAL LEVEL.

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.

I thought you do the test before boarding? Hope MoH_SriLanka contact and check on all those who arrived from South Africa over the last month. Talk about carrying a lot of baggage. (More than the eye can see) I remember last year the media was saying this was racist. 😂🤣😂🤣 Throw em out !! How is this possible? Does KLM not require negative PCR tests before boarding? Something is not right!

never seen luggage wrapped quite like this before good idea since the cheapie bags will most definitely break Why is it not required to test negative before boarding a plane? Is this not common sense during a pandemic? Sounds like it’s already too late.

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

I very well may be wrong but wasn’t it the president that said travel bans don’t work? 61 positive people on two flights is a lot SADC

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

Dow sinks more than 900 points on concerns over South Africa COVID-19 variantThe Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk more than 900 points Friday over concerns of a new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa . Stop this shit !!! just name it Darth Vader next time, better marketing Adult Democrats and Republicans and Independents that choose not to vaccinate against the Covid may well not be around to vote next time as many will be either incapacitated or deceased by using the unvaccinated choice. And natural immunity is unknown for lasting protection

Dutch Authorities Isolate 61 Covid-19 Cases Among Travelers From South AfricaOne in 10 passengers aboard two flights that landed in the Netherlands from South Africa on Friday tested positive for Covid-19. Health authorities said they would research whether the results showed the Omicron variant. So 600 people show 600 negative PCR tests in South Africa before boarding their flights to Amsterdam on Friday. When they land, all 600 are tested. 60 come up Covid positive. How does that happen? My bet is that there were fraudulent results given. A lot! All countries must stop travellers from SouthAfrica region directly or through other airports to enter their country till impact/solution for this Omicron variant known. If not each day spread will add up to repeat the first Italian shock from China. Commercial flights must be the worst.

WHO meets amid global alarm over new COVID-19 variant found in southern Africa“This is the most significant variant we have encountered to date,' said Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the U.K. Health Security Agency. Fantastic. If this one follows the pattern, it'll soon be all over the globe.