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Aktualitet

The world on alert! Omicron is expanding rapidly, the number of countries announcing new cases is increasing

The world on alert! Omicron is expanding rapidly, the number of countries

The new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, potentially more contagious compared to COVID-19, appeared elsewhere on Sunday, just days after it was identified in South Africa. Governments around the world are taking steps to stop its possible spread.

The Netherlands on Sunday confirmed 13 cases of the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, and Australia two.

Israel decided on Sunday to ban entry for foreign nationals, the toughest measures taken by a country so far.

Following the identification of the two cases with Omicron, the UK tightened its rules on Saturday regarding the placement of masks and the testing of international travelers.

New cases were confirmed on Saturday in Germany and Italy. Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong also announced that the new variant of the coronavirus has been found in some international travelers.

Von der Leyen: EU in the race against time regarding the Omicron variant


The European Union is trying to gain time to fully assess the complications posed by the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, with the aim of preparing, especially by promoting higher vaccination rates, the European Commission president said on Sunday.

Originally discovered in South Africa, the variant has now been discovered in EU countries, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as Australia, Botswana, Britain, Hong Kong and Israel.

During a visit to Latvia, Ursula Von der Leyen said the EU has taken the issue seriously.

"We know we are in a race against time ... And it takes scientists two to three weeks to get a complete picture of the mutations in this variant," she told a news conference.

Due to fears that the new variant has the potential to be more resistant to the protection offered by vaccines, there are growing concerns worldwide that the pandemic and blockade-related restrictions will continue even longer than expected.

As it marks about two years since the start of the pandemic that has claimed more than 5 million lives worldwide, countries are on high alert. Many have already imposed restrictions on flights from South Africa, in a bid to provide time to consider whether the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the current dominant variant, the Delta./ VOA