Japan, Israel ban foreigners as WHO flags global risk from Omicron

  • Japan, Australia take defensive steps against Omicron
  • Still unclear of Omicron causes more serious illness -WHO
  • Britain plans meet G7 of health ministers on Monday

TOKYO/GENVE, Nov 29 (Reuters) – The Omicron Variant of coronavirus carries a “very high” global risk of spikes, the WHO warned on Monday, as more countries reported cases, leading to border closures and renewed concerns over the economic recovery of a two-year pandemic.

Scientists have said it could be weeks before understand the seriousness of Omicron, which was first identified in South Africa. To be emergence has caused a strong global reaction, with countries imposing travel restrictions and other restrictions, fearing it could spread fast even in vaccinated populations.

Shocked Investors Wiped Out About $2 Trillion off the value of global shares on only friday financial markets were calmer on Monday, even after Japan, the worldthe third largest economy, said it would close its borders to foreigners.

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“The overall global risk family of the new variant of concern over Omicron is rated very highly,” the World Health Organization advised its 194 member states, warning of “serious consequences” in some places. read more

It said no deaths have been reported so far die related met the Omicron variant.

A leading South African expert on infectious diseases said Omicron appears to be more transferable than previous variants, including to people with immunity to vaccination of previous infection. South African cases likely to exceed 10,000 a day this week up from 2,858 on Sunday and barely 300 a day two weeks ago, said professor Salim Abdol Karim.

But he added that it was too early to say of the symptoms were more serious and said existing COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be effective at preventing Omicron from causing serious illness.

On Sunday, a South African doctor who used to be one of the first suspicion of a new tribe said Omicron seemed to cause mild symptoms so far. read more

Portugal found 13 cases of the variant on a Lisbon football club. Scotland and Austria also reported their first Omicron Cases on Monday. read more

A number of countries have imposed travel restrictions, including Japan, which described his action as a precaution. read more

“These are temporary, exceptional measures die we take for safetyter will, until there is more clarity information over the Omicron variant,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto said tests would show of a traveler from Namibia from Japan was first Omicron case.

Israel, where a ban on arrivals by foreigners took effect on Monday morning from midnight, said it will use counter-terrorism phone tracking technology until combat the new variant. read more

Australia said it would review plans to reopen borders to skilled migrants and students from December 1, after reporting his first Omicron cases, though Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was “a bit too early” to reinstate two-week hotel quarantine for foreign travelers.

A man is standing in front of a monitor met flight schedules on a arrival hall of Haneda Airports international terminal, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 29, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

India has ordered COVID-19 tests at airports from Wednesday for all arrivals of ‘at-risk’ countries. read more

US President Joe Biden Will Give New Details of the variant and the answer of the United States on The White House said on Monday. read more

Travel agencies in Asia said some travelers were beginning to consider canceling trips of to postpone, causing the global tourism industry already fragile recovery. read more

South Africa has denounced restrictions on travel from the region as unfair and potentially harmful to the economy, saying it was punished for it’s scientific ability early identification of variants.


The WHO urged members to speed vaccination of groups met high priority and ensure attempts to keep up essential health services, advising a risk-based approach to customization global travel curbs.

“Omicron has an unprecedented number of spike mutations,” it said, adding: “Cases and infections of COVID-19 are expected in vaccinated persons, albeit in An small and predictable share.”

Scientists say that Omicron is about double the number of mutations to the spike protein as the Delta variant die currently dominates.

The Philippines launched on Monday an ambitious drive to vaccinate nine million people against COVID-19 in three days, deployment of security forces and thousands of volunteers in a programme made urgently by the emergence of the Omicron variant. read more

Britain that said it would? call an urgent meeting of G7 Health Ministers on Monday, will reveal new guidance later on extend the rollout of COVID-19 booster shots for under-40s and potentially narrowing the gap between second doses and boosters.

Oil prices and European stock markets were up on Monday, partially recovering from Friday off sales. Markets expected governments and central banks around the world until start what retreat of the tens of trillions of dollars meant to keep businesses and households afloat during the pandemic. Could mean a new coronavirus wave more support.

Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank, tried to reassure investors that the eurozone could handle it with another wave of the pandemic. read more

“There is a clear concern over the economic” recovery in 2022, but I think we have learned a lot,” she told Italian broadcaster RAI . late on Sunday. “We now know U.S enemy and what measures to take. we are all better equipped respond to a risk of a fifth wave of the Omicron variant.”

With France also aimed at speeding up vaccination campaignPresident Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he had received a booster injection.

More than 261.17 million people in over 210 countries have been reported to have been infected by the novel coronavirus since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019 and 5,456,515 have died, according to a Reuters count.

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Reporting by Reuters agencies Writing by Himani Sarkar and Catherine Evans Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Peter Graff

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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