Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Live Updates: Spain ID Variant Case Not Linked to S Africa | NWN News

MADRID – Spanish health officials have confirmed the first case of the Omicron coronavirus strain, which has no connection to southern Africa.

Secretary of State for Health Sylvia Calzone said that one of the five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Spain was identified on Thursday in a person who had not traveled to South Africa and had no links with people who had contracted the virus. It was kind of a trip.

Spain’s ban on flights connecting air routes to and from South Africa and six neighboring countries came into force on Thursday over fears of new tensions identified by South African authorities.

Much is unknown about the new variant, although the World Health Organization warns that the global risk from the variant is “very high” and early evidence suggests it may be more contagious.

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Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic:

— Omicron and Delta Spell return of unpopular sanctions

— What is the status of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the US?

– Japan withdraws ban on new flight booking after the criticism

– Biden launches new winter COVID-19 booster, test drive

Visit https://APNews.com/coronavirus-pandemic For the day’s updates.

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Here’s what else is happening today:

Argentina said on Thursday that the quarantine imposed on a cruise ship arriving from Africa was lifted after a crew tested negative for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Argentina’s health ministry said the crew of the Hamburg cruise ship tested negative in a PCR test, indicating that a previous positive result from an antigen test was false. It said there was no other suspected virus case among the crew and passengers.

The Argentine government on Tuesday ordered the separation of the ship from the country’s coastline “as a precautionary measure and risks posed by the new Omicron variant”.

Hamburg was carrying 300 passengers and over 150 crew members and was arriving from Cape Verde. It had planned to dock in Buenos Aires. It is currently south of the capital off Samborombone Bay.

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HARARE, Zimbabwe – The World Health Organization’s Africa director says the rapid detection and reporting of the new Omicron version of the coronavirus by Botswana and South Africa has “bought world time” as nations scramble to stop it spreading.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said on Thursday that “we have a window of opportunity but must act quickly and speed up detection and prevention measures.”

Much is unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious, as some health officials suspect, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can cause vaccines to fail. could.

Moeti says countries should “adjust their COVID-19 response and stop the increase in cases spreading widely across Africa and possibly overwhelm already-stretched healthcare facilities.”

John Nkengsong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters at a separate briefing that the continent recorded 52,300 new COVID-19 cases over the past week – a 105% increase.

He says South Africa recorded nearly 31,000 cases, while the entire Southern Africa region recorded a 153% increase in November.

WHO says South Africa has confirmed 172 cases of Omicron and Botswana 19. Ghana and Nigeria are the other African countries in West Africa that have reported cases of the new variant.

Nkengsong says while officials are “deeply concerned” by the increasing numbers, “we are not concerned that the situation cannot be managed.”

He says vaccines are starting to flow across the continent “in a very predictable and steady way”, although there are concerns that “countries are not picking up these vaccines.”

So far little is known about how effective current vaccines are against Omicron, he says, adding that “something in your body is better than nothing. We have absolutely no choice — we have to use vaccines.” Have to do it.”

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scheduled tribe. Paul, Min. – Minnesota state health officials say the LAB test has confirmed one COVID-19 case involving the Omicron variant.

The Minnesota Department of Health said Thursday that during its surveillance program the variant was found in a sample from a Minnesota resident who had recently traveled to New York City.

The department says the Hennepin County man was vaccinated. He developed mild symptoms on 22 November and sought a COVID-19 test on 24 November. His symptoms have subsided.

The Department of Health said the person had attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center from November 19-21.

Omicron is classified as a “concern type” by the World Health Organization as scientists work to determine how it might compare with the major delta variant in terms of transmissibility and severity. Scientists are also studying the extent to which current vaccines and treatments protect against omicrons.

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KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine has announced an entry ban for foreign nationals traveling from eight African countries in an effort to prevent the new coronavirus type of omicron from entering the country.

Much is unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious, as some health officials suspect, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can cause vaccines to fail. could.

Ukraine’s ban will take effect on Friday and will affect foreigners traveling from countries where the spread of the new version has been recorded, such as South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and many others.

Ukrainians with permanent residence in Ukraine and foreign nationals coming from those countries will have to quarantine for 14 days.

The ex-Soviet nation of 44 million people has reported a total of more than 3.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 87,057 deaths in the pandemic.

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BERLIN – Germans who have not been vaccinated must be kept out of non-essential shops, cultural and recreational sites.

Also, Germany’s parliament is to consider a general vaccine mandate.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that the measures were necessary in light of concerns that Germany’s hospitals could be overcrowded with COVID-19 patients. People who have not been vaccinated are more likely to have severe infections.

Merkel said, ‘The situation in our country is serious.

The infection has once again crossed 70,000 in 24 hours.

Officials have also agreed to require masks in German schools, impose new limits on private meetings and aim for 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year.

German lawmakers will debate the possibility of a vaccine mandate. If approved, it could be effective from February.

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SINGAPORE – Singapore’s health ministry says preliminary tests have detected a new omicron version of the coronavirus in two passengers who arrived on a plane from Johannesburg, the country’s first suspected cases.

The ministry said two Singaporeans had been isolated on arrival on Wednesday and had not interacted in the community.

“Upon arrival the results of their polymerase chain reaction test “reveal the presence of an S-gene target failure that may be linked to the Omicron variant,” the ministry said, adding that it was conducting further tests to confirm the results. .

The health ministry says both passengers were fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms of cough and sore throat.

19 other passengers on the same flight tested negative for COVID-19 and have been placed under quarantine, the ministry said.

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Copenhagen, Denmark – Officials in Norway say at least 50 people in Oslo have been infected with the Omicron variant.

Officials said on Thursday that the cases are linked to the company’s recent Christmas party at a restaurant in the capital.

Oslo Municipality said in a statement that more cases were expected. Officials are trying to trace the transmission routes from the party.

Much is unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious, as some health officials suspect, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can cause vaccines to fail. could.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health said those affected live in Oslo and surrounding municipalities.

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New Delhi – India has confirmed its first cases of the Omron variant in two people who had traveled abroad.

India’s health ministry said on Thursday that the confirmed cases are two men in the southern Karnataka state. It did not say from which country they came.

Balram Bhargava, head of India’s apex medical research body, the Indian Council of Medical Research, urged people not to panic and get vaccinated.

Some Indian states have issued strict restriction guidelines for international arrivals as a precaution, including mandatory COVID-19 tests for those arriving from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.

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WASHINGTON – GlaxoSmithKline says its COVID-19 antibody drug appears to be effective against the Omicron variant, based on preliminary laboratory testing.

The British drugmaker said on Thursday it hopes to complete trials by the end of the year to confirm whether the drug is effective against a variety of mutations.

Earlier this week, rival drugmaker Regeneron cautioned that its antibody cocktail lost effectiveness against Omicron.

Antibody treatments are one of a handful of treatments that can blunt the worst effects of COVID-19, and they are the only option available for people with mild to moderate cases who are not yet in hospital.

The US government has purchased millions of doses of three antibody therapies from Regeneron, Eli Lilly and Glaxo.

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ATHENS – Public health officials in Greece have confirmed the country’s first case of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Health Minister Thanos Pleveris said on Thursday that the infection had been detected in the Greek island of Crete and the patient had only been identified as a Greek man who had arrived from South Africa.

Greece is facing its highest daily confirmed coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic. Parliament approved and late Wednesday mandatory vaccination for residents over the age of 60.

The penalty for non-compliance is a 100 euro ($110) monthly fine. This measure will be effective from January 16.

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PARIS – French health officials say they have detected the first confirmed case of the new COVID-19 variant on the country’s mainland.

The Ile-de-France regional health agency said on Thursday that a man in his 50s living in the Paris city area tested positive for the Omicron variant after returning from a trip to Nigeria.

He and his wife did not show any symptoms when they tested positive on November 25 upon their return to France. The wife’s test for omicron is being investigated. He has been quarantined at his home since he tested positive.

A third person living in the same household with the couple was tested on Thursday to determine whether they were infected and, if so, whether they were carrying the new variant.

None of the three people have been vaccinated, the statement said.

France on Tuesday reported its first Omicron case in the island region of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. The patient was identified as a man who had returned to Reunion from South Africa and Mozambique on November 20.

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