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Omicron would cause more than half of the Covid-19 infections in Europe in a few months

The United Kingdom, Iceland and the Netherlands report infections with the new Omicron variant in people who have not recently gone abroad, indicating that the virus is already spreading locally in Europe. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control pointed out that the new South African variant could account for half of the infections on the European continent in a matter of months.

Europe begins to detect cases of Omicron by local circulation of the virus. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned that “in a few months” more than half of the infections throughout the continent will correspond to cases of the new South African variant.

“According to the mathematical model carried out by the ECDC, there are indications that Omicron could cause more than half of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in the European Union in the coming months,” stressed the public health agency of the community blog.

Although there is still no conclusive evidence on the level of transmissibility of this variant, something that according to the WHO will be known in the coming days, the information indicated by the ECDC would give weight to the preliminary information that Ómicron could surpass Delta in speed of contagion .

In recent days, several European nations began to detect cases of Omicron in people arriving at airports from nations in southern Africa. However, now, the authorities report locally transmitted infections.

Omicron already causes infection Meanwhile, other nations continue to report their first detections of the variant in people from abroad. France, which reported the first two infections in the continental part of its territory, by two citizens who entered from South Africa and Nigeria.

Last Tuesday, November 30, the Government reported a contagion on the French island of Reunion, located in the Indian Ocean.

The main scientific advisor to the Emmanuel Macron Administration, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, assured that Omicron could become the dominant variant in the country by the end of January.

“We should see a progressive increase in the Omicron variant, which will replace Delta,” possibly by the end of January (…) Christmas is not at risk if the population and decision-makers are very cautious, “said the president of the scientific council. , who also reiterated that social distancing and a third immunization injection will be key to mitigating the severity of the disease.

How are the restrictions for Omicron going?

As new cases of the variant appear, whether detected in people arriving from abroad or by local transmission, different nations have set off their alarms and imposed restrictions in recent days.

Among the most recent decisions disclosed is the United States that as of next Monday, December 6, will require diagnostic tests with negative results from all travelers who arrive in its territory, including those vaccinated. The test must be taken 24 hours before taking the flight.

“This stricter time frame for all travelers provides an additional degree of public health protection as scientists continue to evaluate the Omicron variant,” said a senior US official quoted by EFE, who preferred to remain anonymous.

In Germany, the federal government announced that people will have limited access to non-essential shops, restaurants and places of worship and leisure, while they will only be able to hold meetings with people from their family or coexistence nucleus and up to two outsiders. circle. The new guidelines also provide for club and nightclub closures based on a cumulative incidence of 350 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. All these measures are bases and the federal states can have tougher restrictions. In addition, they mark the prelude to a foreseeable mandatory vaccination campaign against the coronavirus from next February.

Meanwhile, Russia has imposed a two-week quarantine on travelers from some African countries, including South Africa, the Interfax news agency reported, citing a senior official.

In Canada , airline industry groups warned that a plan to require Covid-19 testing for all international flight arrivals except the United States risked causing “chaos” and long lines if passengers were expected to check out. the test at airports.

Meanwhile, Japan backtracked on a decision to ban all new flight bookings to its country until the end of December, just one day after announcing it.

However, Prime Minister Fumio Kishidaeste said on Thursday that he asked the Ministry of Transport for the “review” of that measure to take into account “requests to be able to return to the country of Japanese citizens who are abroad.” He admitted that the restriction “had caused confusion,” in statements to the media.

In the European Union , last week its member countries banned all flights from southern Africa en blog.

Amid all the new restrictions, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier Ryanair said it expects a difficult time for the business around Christmas, although it is still optimistic about demand for next summer.

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