The Omicron variant could have “serious consequences”. This is what the World Health Organization (WHO) says: it is reported by Sky News. «Worried» about the Omicron variant «it seems to me a largely excessive term», says Franco Locatelli, coordinator of the CTS and president of the Css to Buongiorno on SkyTG24. “We know – he adds – that this is a variant that has had an important diffusion in South Africa, the time it took to become predominant is greatly reduced compared to the other variants, there was an increase of almost 260% of cases in that Country: everything supports a greater contagiousness. But we have no evidence that it can cause more serious disease or escape the protective effect of vaccines in any major way. “
Japan closes its borders
Japan is closing its borders and starting tomorrow it will close the borders to foreign citizens to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the country. The announcement – reports the Kyodo agency – was given today by the Japanese authorities, which had already ordered the entry ban for all foreigners who have recently been to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, it is established that Japanese citizens and residents who have returned from one of these countries and 14 other unspecified states and regions must spend ten days in solitary confinement in facilities set up by the authorities.
Japan Prime Minister Kishida: “Avoid worst-case scenario”
The measure, premier Fumio Kishida announced, was taken “to avoid the worst scenario”. “It is – he added – a temporary measure pending the information relating to the Omicron variant no longer clear”. Kishida then announced that a person from Namibia tested positive and that investigations are underway to establish the variant that caused the infection. The results will come in 4 to 5 days. The patient disembarked at Narita airport yesterday, coming from Namibia, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health.
New Zealand, no entry from 9 countries
New Zealand closed its borders to travelers from nine Southern African countries last night in an effort to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus across the country. CNN reports it. Only New Zealand citizens will be able 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. At the same time, the government has announced that the lockdown in the city of Auckland, which has been in place for over 100 days, will be lifted next Friday.
Canada confirms the first two cases
Canada has confirmed its first two cases of the new Omicron variant of Covid 19. The infected would be two travelers. The two cases were found in the capital Ottawa, Ontario, and concern two people who recently arrived from Nigeria. The two infected are in isolation and Canadian health authorities are tracking their movements in recent days to identify the people they have been in contact with.
France, 8 possible suspected cases
In France there are eight possible suspected cases of infected with the Omicron variant of Covid. This is what the French Directorate General of Health reports in a note. The people, the note reads, “went to southern Africa within fourteen days and were tested positive but negative for the other Alpha, beta, gamma and delta variants.” Confirmation will take “a few days”.