Netherlands, Australia find omicron variant as curbs spread | AP News

Dutch health officials have confirmed 13 cases of the coronavirus' omicron variant among travelers who arrived in the Netherlands from South Africa. The World Health Organization warns that omicron is a 'variant of concern.'

Coronavirus Pandemic, Travel

11/28/2021 4:06:00 PM

Dutch health officials have confirmed 13 cases of the coronavirus' omicron variant among travelers who arrived in the Netherlands from South Africa . The World Health Organization warns that omicron is a 'variant of concern.'

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus on Sunday and Australia found two as the countries half a world apart became the latest to detect it in travelers arriving from southern Africa.

ADVERTISEMENTnew varianthave already emerged in several European countries, in Israel and in Hong Kong, just days after it was identified by researchers in South Africa. The “act first, ask questions later” approach reflected growing alarm about the emergence of a potentially more contagious variant nearly two years into a pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people, upended lives and disrupted economies across the globe.

While much remains to be learned about the new variant, researchers are concerned that it may be more resistant to the protection provided by vaccines and could mean that the pandemic lasts for longer than anticipated.The Dutch public health authority confirmed that 13 people who arrived from South Africa Friday have so far tested positive for omicron. They were among 61 people who tested positive for the virus after arriving on the last two flights to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport before a flight ban was implemented. They were immediately put into isolation, most at a nearby hotel, while sequencing was carried out.

Authorities in Australia said two overseas travelers who arrived in Sydney from Africa became the first in the country to test positive for the omicron variant. Arrivals from nine African countries are now required to quarantine in a hotel upon arrival. Two German states reported a total of three cases in returning travelers over the weekend.

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Israel movedto ban entry by foreigners and mandate quarantine for all Israelis arriving from abroad.“Restrictions on the country’s borders is not an easy step, but it’s a temporary and necessary step,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Dr. Ran Balicer, head of the government’s advisory panel on COVID-19, told Israel’s Kan public radio that the new measures were necessary for the “fog of war” surrounding the new variant, saying it was “better to act early and strictly” to prevent its spread.

ADVERTISEMENTDutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he has asked his country’s public health institute for advice on whether additional travel restrictions are needed, but he said he wants to coordinate with his European Union counterparts because “I think those are really steps that we will have to take together.”

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Many countries have restricted or banned travel from various southern African countries — among the latest New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Saudi Arabia. Places that already had imposed restrictions include Brazil, Canada, the EU, Iran, and the U.S. This goes against the advice of the World Health Organization, which has warned against any overreaction before the variant is thoroughly studied.

South Africa’s government responded angrily to the travel bans, which it said are “akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker.” It said it will try to persuade countries that imposed them to reconsider.

“Whilst we respect the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, we need to remember that this pandemic requires collaboration and sharing of expertise,” the minister for international relations and cooperation, Naledi Pandor, said in a statement.

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The United States’ top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he would not be surprised if the omicron variant was already in the U.S., though it hasn’t yet been detected there.In Europe, much of which already has been struggling with a sharp increase in cases over recent weeks, officials also were on guard.

The U.K. on Saturday tightened rules on mask-wearing and on testing of international arrivals after finding two omicron cases. Spain announced it won’t admit unvaccinated British visitors starting Dec. 1.Italy was going through lists of airline passengers who arrived in the past two weeks after a business traveler who returned from Mozambique and landed in Rome on Nov. 11 tested positive for omicron. The Lazio region’s top health official, Alessio D’Amato, said that “controls at airports, ports and train stations have been reinforced.”

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said that, while his country had no confirmed cases yet, “it is probable that there currently are cases in circulation.”While it is not clear yet how existing vaccines work against the omicron variant, Veran said France isn’t changing its strategy to fight the latest surge of infections driven by the delta variant, which centers on increasing vaccinations and boosters.

David Hui, a respiratory medicine expert and government adviser on the pandemic in Hong Kong, said that even though it is not clear if current coronavirus vaccines are effective against the new variant, the city’s vaccination rate should be increased and booster doses should be implemented as soon as possible.

He said that the two people who tested positive for the omicron variant had received the BioNTech-Pfizer shot and exhibited very mild symptoms, such as a sore throat.“Vaccines should work but there would be some reduction in effectiveness,” he said.___

Moulson reported from Berlin. Zen Soo in Hong Kong, Adam Schreck in Bangkok and Associated Press writers around the world contributed to this report.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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We're the 'arrivals' vaccinated? VaccinEquity NOW! 💉🌍 🇺🇸 JoeBiden 🇫🇷 EmmanuelMacron 🇬🇧 BorisJohnson 🇩🇪 OlafScholz 🇨🇦 JustinTrudeau 🇮🇹 Palazzo_Chigi 🇯🇵 JPN_PMO 🇺🇳 antonioguterres 🇪🇺 vonderleyen 🇪🇺 CharlesMichel the people out and about, traveling, caused this. all the SA Omicron patients were fully vaccinated. the vaccinated are being very selfish traveling around on planes in a pandemic. the blood is on their hands.

Oh whatever! Why won’t you people just get vaccinated Too early to be conclusive or to let guard down, but South African scientists say cases there so far are generally mild, no run on hospitals, those hospitalized are 100% unvaccinated. It’s the moronic variant. YYYYYAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNN Scary...

Indonesia bans arrivals from 8 African countries to curb Omicron variant -documentIndonesia will ban the arrival of travellers who have been in eight Africa n countries, to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, an official document showed on Sunday. Yet the variant is less harmful Another racist country bans Africa

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Yoba, duba, dooooo... To all double vaccinated traveller's from South Africa. (The Belgians are OK.) WHOOOOO... in Netherlands? Did they come up with a new test to differentiate the new variant? Give it up, there’s no stopping it. If your worried, get the shots. This will be our new way of life Just stoppppp. No one would even know there was a bad flu season if it wasn’t for the drama on the fake news. No one I know even ended up in the hospital, let alone ICU, let alone died from Covid. And I know a lot of people… it’s a globalist takeover. We all know it

Is the lady in the photograph pointing to a huge, floating version of the omicron variant, floating above the city? AP why not put your ceo photo? why this photo ap ? They didn't warn, they called it a concern because they do not have enough data on it to call it anything. Enough of the drama, please...

Pandemic is over.

New omicron variant stokes world fears, triggers travel bans | AP NewsBRUSSELS (AP) — The discovery of a new coronavirus variant sent a chill through much of the world Friday as nations raced to halt air travel, markets fell sharply and scientists held emergency meetings to weigh the exact risks, which were largely unknown. A World Health Organization panel said early evidence suggests the COVID-19 variant 'omicron' could pose an increased risk of reinfection. Medical experts, including the WHO, warned against any overreaction before the variant was better understood. There is no new strand of covid. How can you call serial killers on the loose a virus? BTW those dark souls are gone because the light won. God

New omicron variant stokes world fears, triggers travel bans | AP NewsBRUSSELS (AP) — The discovery of a new coronavirus variant sent a chill through much of the world Friday as nations raced to halt air travel, markets fell sharply and scientists held emergency meetings to weigh the exact risks, which were largely unknown. Call Florida Governor Ronnie DeSantis. He will be happy to admit ANYBODY and will probably hire them as deputies in Polk County. Too late, it is already in Europe Why the delay? Why not immediately?

World on alert as UK reports cases of omicron COVID variant | AP NewsLONDON (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..

UK plans new measures to combat omicron coronavirus variant | AP NewsLONDON (AP) — The U.K. government on Saturday said that it was planning new measures to combat the omicron COVID-19 variant, including mandatory PCR tests for all arriving international travelers and ramping up the use of face masks. 2 day antigen testing rule didn't last long... 🥱

The new Omicron variant is a pandemic gut checkThe emergence of the Omicron variant appears to be the strongest reminder yet that the pandemic is not over So now wants to know how Biden can stop the spread of the news Covid variant in the World. Also look again at commercial logo it is exactly the same as OANN Come on people get vaccinated! All you unvaccinated people are causing these deadly variants. The fact that this is a variant of a virus that even western countries are beginning to take seriously says something about how scary this virus is.😱😱😱