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Wary, weary world slams doors shut, fearing COVID-19 omicron variant – The Denver Post – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-11-29 11:45:42 –

By RAFCASERT and MARIYA MAGUCHI

Brussels (AP) — As more cases of the mutant coronavirus emerge and scientists compete, countries around the world close their doors again on Monday to keep new Omicron variants away, and how dangerous it is. Please understand.

Japan has announced that it will join Israel just days after the variants have been identified by South African researchers and ban all foreign visitors from entering the country. Morocco has banned all arrival flights. Other countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, have moved to ban the arrival of travelers from southern Africa.

Travelers infected with the new version have appeared in different countries in the last few days, and new cases in Portugal and Scotland raise concerns that this version may already be spread locally.

“Many of us may think that COVID-19 is over. It’s not done with us,” warned Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes, Director of the World Health Organization.

A few days after the variant shook the financial world and caused a pandemic that killed more than 5 million people, Monday’s markets responded in various ways, with European stock and oil prices rebounding and Wall Street rising. , The Asian market has fallen further.

Infection has shown the difficulty of controlling the virus in a globalized world of jet travel and open borders. Still, many countries have tried to do just that, contrary to WHO’s request that border closures are often limited in effectiveness and can cause havoc on livelihoods and livelihoods.

Some have argued that such restrictions could provide valuable time to analyze new variants. Little is known about it, including whether it is more contagious, more likely to cause a serious illness, or the vaccine can be avoided.

The first global response to COVID-19 was criticized for being slow and unplanned, but the response to the new variant was immediate.

“This time the world has shown that it is learning,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to praise South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa. “South Africa’s analytical work, transparency, and sharing of the results were essential to enable a swift global response. Definitely saved many lives.”

WHO praised Botswana and South Africa for promptly warning the world of the existence of new variants, and warned that many countries should not be punished at that speed.

However, Von der Leyen, like many other countries, has succeeded in encouraging the EU in 27 countries to agree to a ban on flights from seven southern African countries on weekends. On Monday, EU member states Spain and Poland announced travel and quarantine restrictions.

Cases had already been reported in the EU countries Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands before Portuguese authorities identified 13 cases of Omicron among the team members of the Berenenses Pro Soccer Club. Authorities reported that one member recently traveled to South Africa. The weekend match against Benfica was canceled half-time due to a shortage of players.

Quarantine was also a problem when Dutch gendarmerie had to arrest a couple who had left the hotel and boarded a plane to Spain after being tested positive.

“Quarantine is not mandatory, but it does assume that people act responsibly,” said spokeswoman Petra Faber.

After Scotland reported the first six cases, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that “community infections of this variant may have already occurred.”

Japan, which missed a chance and has not yet detected the Omicron incident, re-imposed relaxed border control earlier this month.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “We are taking steps as an emergency precaution to prevent the worst in Japan.” New measures will begin on Tuesday.

Israel has also decided to ban foreigners from entering the country, saying Morocco will suspend all arriving flights for two weeks starting Monday.

Despite global concerns, scientists have warned that it is still unclear whether Omicron is more vigilant than other versions of the virus.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said there is no data yet to suggest that the new variant causes more serious illness than previous versions.

So far, South African doctors have reported that patients suffer from almost mild symptoms, but they are still early and most of the new cases are generally in their twenties who do not get sick from COVID. Warns people in their thirties-as an elderly person 19.

“In the last 10 days, the number of cases has skyrocketed. So far, most have been very mild and patients have flu-like symptoms. Dry cough, fever, night sweats, many. It’s a pain in my body, “said Dr. Unben Pillay, a general practitioner in Houten. New cases have been reported.

This variant provided further evidence of what experts have long said. No continent is safe until the entire planet is fully vaccinated. The more the virus is allowed to spread, the more chances it will mutate.

“The emergence of Omicron variants exactly met the predictions of scientists who warned that increased transmission of the virus in areas with restricted access to vaccines would accelerate its evolution,” the UN said. CEPI, one of the founders of the global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX to support.

In some parts of the world, authorities are moving in the opposite direction.

In Malaysia, authorities have proceeded with the partial reopening of the bridge connecting to Singapore. New Zealand has also announced that it will limit travel from nine countries in southern Africa, but will promote plans to reopen it internally after a few months of closure.

“COVID in the last two years has progressed better than almost anywhere else in the world,” said Jacinda Ardern, pointing out low mortality, economic growth and high vaccination rates. bottom.

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Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. Associated Press journalists around the world have contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

Wary, weary world slams doors shut, fearing COVID-19 omicron variant – The Denver Post Source link Wary, weary world slams doors shut, fearing COVID-19 omicron variant – The Denver Post

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