Von der Leyen: “Race against time”. WHO: “Keep borders open”
Spotlights on the Omicron variant of the covid, on the symptoms and on the map of infections in Europe – including Italy – and in the world. The British government, which currently holds the presidency of the G7, has called one for today emergency meeting of health ministers. The G7 is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
SYMPTOMS – The World Health Organization specifies that “It is still unclear whether Omicron is more contagious than other variants, including the Delta variant. The number of people tested positive has increased in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiological studies are underway to understand if it is due to Omicron or other factors “. E”It is still unclear whether Omicron infection causes more serious illness compared to infections with other variants, including Delta, “explains WHO.
“Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing hospitalization rates in South Africa, but this may be due to the increase in the overall number of people infected, rather than a specific infection with Omicron. At the moment. there is no information to suggest that the symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those of other variants“.
People in South Africa who contracted the Omicron strain of the coronavirus demonstrated “unusual but mild” symptoms, reports the country’s medical association, the South African Medical Association (Sama). In an interview with the BBC, the president of the Association, Angelique Coetzee, explaining that the research on the variant is still at an early stage, said that “patients complain mainly of a sore body and fatigue, extreme tiredness, and we see it in the younger generations, not in the elderly “.
Also the 55-year-old from Campania positive for the Omicron variant – ‘patient zero’ in Italy – makes it known that the symptoms are mild. The speech also applies to the family, which includes people between 8 and 81 years of age: the infection, he says, manifested itself in a mild way. The man is in solitary confinement in his home in Caserta and is constantly monitored by doctors and the health authority.
VON DER LEYEN: “RACE AGAINST TIME” – Against the Omicron variant “now it’s a race against time”. The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference in Riga. “Scientists need two or three weeks to get a complete picture of the quality of the mutations of this variant,” he said, stressing the need to “buy time” and renewing the invitation to citizens to get vaccinated, to protect themselves and to maintain the distance.
WHO – The World Health Organization calls for borders to be kept open. WHO “stands with African nations and asks that borders remain open” is the WHO appeal. “As countries impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns about the new variant of Covid Omicron, WHO urges countries to follow scientific and health regulations,” the World Health Organization stresses.
PRESIDENT SOUTH AFRICA – The president of South Africa calls for the lifting of travel restrictions. “We call on all those countries that have imposed travel bans on our country and on our sister countries in southern Africa to urgently reverse their decisions and lift the ban they have imposed before further damage is done to our economies and livelihood of our people, there is no scientific justification for keeping these restrictions in place, “said South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, according to South African media. For Ramaphosa, travel restrictions “will not be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. It could only cause further damage to the economies of affected countries and undermine their ability to respond and recover from the pandemic.”
CONTACT MAP – The map of infections in Europe currently sees 13 confirmed cases of new variant in Netherlands, in a group of people who arrived on Friday on flights from South Africa. In all, 61 people tested positive after disembarking from the last two flights that reached the country before the closure and isolation was ordered for all. Meanwhile, tests have begun to determine whether or not it was the Omicron variant. The tests are now continuing “and the new variant could emerge in other results,” the authorities said.
In France there are eight possible suspected cases of infected with the Omicron variant of Covid. While there are three confirmed cases detected in Germany, two cases confirmed in Denmark, a suspected case in Austria. There is also a third case of Omicron variant contagion in UK.
In Israel a second case of the variant was identified. The patient is a vaccinated woman who returned from South Africa and was found positive in a genetic sequencing test conducted by the Ministry of Health. Two cases of the Omicron variant of Covid have been certified in Australia, two cases of infected people in Ottawa, in Canada. Meanwhile, the state of New York declared a state of emergency as an exceptional measure to deal with the new variant.