Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom … The Omicron variant detected in several European countries

The new Omicron variant, considered “worrying” by the WHO, is already present in several European countries.

United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands … The Omicron variant, whose identification was announced Thursday by South Africa, is already present in Europe. If this new mutation of the coronavirus represents a “high to very high” risk, according to the European Union’s health agency, it is not possible to say at this time how fast it is traveling.

Preliminary data on this variant suggests that it presents “an increased risk of reinfection” compared to other variants, including the Delta, which is dominant and already very contagious, hence the fact that it is of particular concern to the planet.

• Cases detected in the United Kingdom

This Saturday, two cases of contamination with the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus were detected in the United Kingdom, announced the British Department of Health.

“The British Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed that two cases of Covid-19 including mutations compatible with B.1.1.529 have been identified”, explained the government which specifies that the infected people and their families have isolated.

“The two cases are linked (to each other) and to a trip to southern Africa,” the statement said. One of them was detected in the city of Nottingham (central England) and the other in Chelmsford (east of London), decrypted the Minister of Health Sajid Javid.

• “Several typical Omicron mutations” in Germany

Earlier today, regional authorities in the state of Hesse in Germany announced that a suspected case had been spotted. Tests carried out on Friday evening on a passenger arriving at Frankfurt airport from South Africa revealed “several mutations typical of Omicron”, explained the regional Minister of Social Affairs, Kai Klose.

“Because of this strong suspicion, this person is in isolation at his home. The full analysis of the results is still underway,” said the minister.

• In the Czech Republic

Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Saturday that a local laboratory was researching a sample taken from a woman who had traveled to Namibia and tested positive for Covid-19 upon her return.

“She flew back to the Czech Republic via South Africa and Dubai,” Andrej Babis tweeted. “The woman was vaccinated, she has moderate symptoms and we will have the result of the sequencing tomorrow,” he said.

In the Nederlands, 61 people who are suspected of having been infected by this mutation of the virus. The passengers had arrived in Amsterdam on Friday morning from Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa. Tested when they got off the planes, the infected people were “placed in quarantine in a hotel near Amsterdam-Schipol airport,” said the Dutch health authority.

Research for the Omicron variant is currently underway.

Deemed “worrying” on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO), the variant was detected for the first time in Europe in Belgium in a young woman who arrived on November 11 and tested on November 22. She came from Egypt and had transited through Turkey, according to the authorities. A case was also reported in Hong Kong, one in Israel in a person returning from Malawi and another in Botswana.

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