BRUSSELS (AP) — The ommicron variant was already in The Netherlands when South Africa warned the World Health Organization about this last week, Dutch health authorities said on Tuesday, adding to the fear and confusion over the new version of the coronavirus in a tired world in the hope it had left the worst of the pandemic behind.
RIVM health institute in The Netherlands found ommicron in monsters dating from 19 and 23 November. The WHO said South Africa first reported the variant to the UN Organization for a Healthy Diet on Nov 24.
It remains unclear where of when the variant first emerged – but that didn’t stop cautious nations from rushing to impose travel restrictions, especially on visitors from southern Africa. That moves have been criticized by South Africa and the WHO has insisted against them, pointing out their limited effect.
Not much is known yet over the variant, although the WHO warned that the global risk of the variant is “very high” and early evidence suggests this could be more contageous.
The Dutch announcement Tuesday continues to cloud the timeline on when the new variant has really emerged. Earlier, the Dutch had said that they found the variant among passengers who came from South Africa on Friday — but this one new cases predate that.
authorities in the East German city of Leipzig, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that they had confirmed an infection with the ommicron variant in a 39-year-old man who was not in been abroad and had no contact with anyone who Has been, news agency dpa reported. Leipzig is in the eastern state of Saxony, die currently has die from Germany highest overall infection rates met the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Japan and France announced their first cases of the new variant on Tuesday.
French authorities confirmed its presence in the French island territory of Meeting in the Indian Ocean. Patrick Mavingui, a microbiologist on the island research clinic for infectious diseases, said the person who tested positive for the new variant is a 53-year-old man who had traveled to Mozambique and stopped in South Africa before returning to Réunion.
The man has been posted in quarantine. He has “muscle pain and fatiguesaid Mavingui, according to public television Reunion 1ere.
One day after banning all foreign visitors as an emergency precaution against the variant, Japan also confirmed it first case, in a visitor who had traveled from Namibia. AN government spokesman said that the patient, a man in his 30s, tested positive for arrival at Narita . airport on Sunday and was isolated and being treated in a hospital.
trip bans also continued to fall on Tuesday.
Cambodia banned travelers from 10 African countries, citing the threat of the variant. The move came just two weeks after Cambodia reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers.
While it has insisted against border closures, the WHO has emphasized that while scientists look for evidence to better understand this variant, countries should accelerate vaccinations as fast as possible.
WHO said there are “significant uncertainties” over the ommicron variant. But it said preliminary evidence raises the possibility that the variant has mutations die that can help it both evades an immune systemsystem reaction and boost are ability distributing one person to another.
In spite of the global worry, doctors in South Africa reports that patients have mostly mild symptoms so far. But they warn that it is early and above all of the new have fallen in people in their 20s and 30s, who turn into over generally not as sick with COVID-19 as older patients.
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