Many Countries Are Closing Borders As Omicron Variant Spreads Globally

Many Countries Are Closing Borders As Omicron Variant Spreads Globally

The primary source of worry is Omicron’s ability to avoid existing vaccinations. US researchers stated Wednesday that they had discovered that the Omicron variant of coronavirus is “markedly resistant" to 4 main jabs, adding that Omicron “has now become the most complete ‘escapee’ from neutralisation by presently available antibodies."


Many Countries Are Closing Borders As Omicron Variant Spreads Globally

The rapid transmission of the Omicron coronavirus variant has smashed pandemic records and forced the closure of borders in numerous regions of the world, as governments and scientists rush to comprehend the variant’s ramifications before it replaces Delta and dominates globally.

Dr Anthony Fauci claimed the US was “looking over its shoulder" at the advancing variant on Wednesday, as he implored people to get vaccinated and booster doses to build up the American population’s immunity.

We are already in a Delta surge. I mean, the cases are going up," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN. “And then you have, looking over your shoulder, the Omicron variant, which we know from what’s going on in South Africa and in the UK, is a highly transmissible virus.

The world’s attention is focused mainly on those two countries, which were blasted by Omicron waves sooner than the rest of the world.

Both countries reported the largest record of new Covid infections in history on Wednesday, and Britain’s top scientists cautioned that the record would almost certainly be surpassed again shortly. Omicron has become the dominant Covid variant in London, only days after the UK disclosed its first variant cases.

However, hospitalisations in South Africa, where the first outbreak of Omicron was found last month, have stayed fewer than in prior waves, prompting the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) to voice a cautious note of hope.

Although the data are still being gathered, the evidence suggests that the current wave may be milder," the agency said. 

Many scientists across the globe are hesitant to make such conclusions; England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty cautioned Wednesday that South Africa’s data is insufficient and that even a less severe disease might inflict damage on the country’s healthcare system if left uncontrolled.

Whitty advised individuals to prioritise physical social interactions, despite the fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration has so far refrained from enforcing mixing rules.

Source - NewsNation Now

I want to be clear: I’m afraid this is going to be a problem," Whitty said. “(The) exact proportions of it, of course, South African scientists and UK scientists and scientists globally are trying to determine at the moment.

France tightened travel restrictions for travellers from the United Kingdom on Thursday in light of the Omicron threat. Those entering France from the United Kingdom would need a “compelling reason" and confirmation of a negative test performed no more than 24 hours before departure, government spokeswoman Gabriel Attal told CNN station BFMTV.

Prime Minister Jean Castex also asked French citizens considering journeys to the United Kingdom to reschedule their trips, only days before Christmas. He cited the UK government’s own statement that the country is facing a “tidal wave" of Omicron variant cases.

France, along with Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, was put on Israel’s red list of high-risk countries on Wednesday.

Outside a London vaccination clinic, people line up for their booster dose.

And demonstrations against such limitations have increased throughout Europe as the region braces itself for its own wave of Omicron infection.

Police detained 28 individuals for attacking German police officers in Munich on Wednesday evening, as thousands flocked to the streets for a march. According to Munich police, around 3,700 people participated in the demonstration.

Such rallies have increased in frequency in recent weeks as the German government implemented measures targeting people who have not yet received the Covid-19 vaccine. The new administration’s plans to require vaccinations for specific professions have enraged activists, and conflicts have grown more regular.

Australia Is Keeping An Eye On Its First Omicron Pandemic

The variant is starting to jeopardise Southeast Asia’s economic liberalisation efforts. On Thursday, Indonesia and New Zealand confirmed their first Omicron cases, while South Korea announced a tightening of social distancing measures. South Koreans will henceforth be permitted to mingle only in groups of eight – or four in the greater Seoul area – as Delta cases and Omicron-related fears spread across the country.

Meanwhile, Australia is seeing the first hints of an Omicron variant. On Thursday, the state of New South Wales recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases, with the new variant accounting for 122 of the 1,742 new infections. NSW Health recommended people in Newcastle, where the most Omicron infections are recorded, to “seriously consider" delaying social gatherings until after Christmas.

The primary source of worry is Omicron’s ability to avoid existing vaccinations. US researchers stated Wednesday that they had discovered that the Omicron variant of coronavirus is “markedly resistant" to 4 main jabs, adding that Omicron “has now become the most complete ‘escapee’ from neutralisation by presently available antibodies."

The scientific community has chased after SARS-CoV-2 variants for a year. As more and more of them appeared, our interventions directed to the spike became increasingly ineffective," Dr. David Ho of Columbia University’s Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and colleagues wrote in their study, which is available online as a pre-print. It has not yet been subjected to peer review.

However, studies have shown that a booster dose may significantly restore protection, highlighting the need of booster campaigns across the globe.

The vulnerable people are the people who have not been vaccinated, and I hope that the possibility that we’re seeing — that we’re going to be getting a surge of Omicron, which is almost inevitable given its characteristic of high degree of transmissibility," Fauci said on Wednesday. “We have the tools to be able to blunt this. We just need to implement them.

Source – CNN

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