Omicron variant, WHO: “Possible serious consequences, very high risk”. The mayors are calling for a squeeze. Today the G7 of Health

Omicron variant, WHO: “Possible serious consequences, very high risk”. The mayors are calling for a squeeze. Today the G7 of Health
Omicron variant, WHO: “Possible serious consequences, very high risk”. The mayors are calling for a squeeze. Today the G7 of Health

The ministers of health of the ‘big’ of the Earth will meet already today, in an emergency summit convened by Great Britain to discuss the initiatives to be taken to immediately counter the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that already worries the whole world, after the first cases sequenced outside of South Africa. World governments were reassured by the words of some experts and health authorities in South Africa, according to which the symptoms of the new mutation would be “light”, but the World Health Organization (WHO) raises the alarm explaining that the new variant it could have “serious consequences”. Meanwhile, other governments decide, despite the protests in Pretoria, to prevent access to their territory from South Africa and other southern African countries. In Italy, the mayors are asking the government to reintroduce restrictions such as the obligation to wear a mask, while the Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, responds to the need for greater controls on green passes: “They will be a sample, we have a shortage of staff”.

“Given the mutations that can confer a potential transmission advantage for the virus, the probability of a potential further spread of Omicron globally is high – reads a WHO document sent to all member countries – Given these characteristics, there may be future spikes from Covid-19, which could have serious consequences, depending on a number of factors, including where the spikes will occur. The overall global risk relating to the new Omicron variant is assessed as very high “. Furthermore, according to the experts of the UN agency, “the probability of a potential further spread of Omicron globally is high”, even if “to date no deaths related to the Omicron variant have been reported”.

Thus, Japan has even decided to close the borders to all foreign visitors: “We have banned all entry of foreign citizens from all over the world since November 30,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. And for all Japanese returning from 9 southern African countries where infections with the new variant have been identified, they will have to undergo “rigorous risk-based isolation measures.”

New Zealand has done the same, allowing only New Zealand citizens to enter the country from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique. For them, however, there is a 14-day quarantine period, announced the minister with responsibility for the management of Covid, Chris Hipkins.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was “deeply disappointed” by the “unjustified” decision to close the borders to travelers and called for the urgent lifting of the bans imposed. In his speech, he spoke of the lack of scientific evidence on which to base such a decision and of unfair discrimination against the region of southern Africa. The closures, he warned, will not be effective against the spread of the variant: “The only thing the bans will cause is further damage to the economies of the countries involved that will undermine their ability to respond to the pandemic.” Ramaphosa then appealed to the countries that have closed their borders asking them “to urgently return to the decision before further damage is done to our economies”.

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