The COVID-19 pandemic is entering the next phase. Just recently, humanity was agitated by another mutation of the dangerous coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which appeared in India - B.1.617.2 "delta". Now on the planet, this time in South Africa, a new strain has appeared - B.1.1.529 omicron. Recently, it penetrated into Europe and the countries of the Western world began to urgently prepare for its distribution.
The day before, the British authorities announced that the first two carriers of this SARS-CoV-2 mutation, who flew from South Africa, were identified in the country. On November 28, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a statement on the epidemiological situation. He said that measures against persons arriving in the country will be tightened. They will have to do the test on the day of arrival and be quarantined until negative.
In addition, the UK will reintroduce the mandatory wearing of masks in transport and indoors. The head of the British government stressed that this strain "spreads very quickly", including among those vaccinated. Therefore, it is not clear whether the available vaccines will be effective against omicron.
On November 27, it became known about cases of infection with "omicron" in Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Italy. The infected recently visited Africa and are now sick, but mildly and without symptoms. The Netherlands tested all 600 passengers who arrived in the country from South Africa. The coronavirus was found in 61, but it is unclear whether this is a strain.
Recently, a new mutation of the coronavirus was identified in South Africa. The omicron strain is now spreading rapidly in Africa and has also been identified in Hong Kong and Israel. Virologists speculate that the omicron may become more infectious than previously exposed strains. In South Africa, the omicron is replacing the delta and observations of the dynamics of the epidemic confirm the fears of experts, but it is too early to draw final conclusions. Vaccine manufacturers are also studying a new strain.
In the US, the new strain has not yet been identified, but the White House is already developing a plan to combat the omicron in case of an outbreak. The American edition of Politico wrote about it.
Health officials have held a series of meetings over the past two days to plan their response to the species being identified in the U.S. and possible outbreaks across the country.
- reported the publication.
Informants told the publication details of the meetings. The functionaries discussed the closure of entry into the United States from a number of African countries, whether to allow Americans to return from there and whether it is worth changing the recommendations in the health sector in the country, as well as the need to accelerate the rate of revaccination of the population.
On November 28, the Israeli authorities closed the border due to the omicron strain. From 00:00 on November 29 and on for 14 days, entry to Israel for all foreigners is prohibited, "except for cases approved by a special commission." The Shabak special service activates the monitoring of mobile phones infected with omicron. At the same time, vaccinated or recovered Israelis, upon arrival in Israel, must pass the test and be in home quarantine until a negative result.