On the same day that version B.1.1.529 was dubbed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Omicron and regarded as a “type of concern”, many countries imposed restrictions on travel and flights to and from those places. Announced a series of confirmed cases of infection with this new type of coronavirus where there are already existing.
One of the most recent countries to announce restrictions was Brazil: on Friday night (26), the Minister of Civil Affairs, Ciro Nogueira, published on Twitter that as of Monday (29), the country has closed its borders to travelers from South Africa. will shut down. , Botswana, Esuatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. An ordinance with the new measure is to be published on Saturday (27).
Earlier, Canada announced the closure of borders for travelers who have recently been to South Africa, Botswana, Esuatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The list is similar for the US, with the addition of Malawi. The restrictions, which do not cover US citizens and residents, will take effect Monday (11/29).
European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said earlier on Friday (26), in an emergency meeting, the health directors of all 27 states that make up the European Union agreed to impose sanctions on seven countries: Africa South, Botswana, Esuatini, Lesotho, Mozambique. Had happened. , Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The UK had already suspended flights from South Africa, Botswana, Esuatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Singapore and Israel also placed Mozambique on their red list.
And Japan announced that, starting Saturday, most travelers to southern Africa would be required to isolate for 10 days and undergo four tests during that period.
Meanwhile, India is carrying out more stringent testing and tracing procedures for passengers arriving from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.
The WHO has said that less than 100 samples of the new variant have been sequenced so far. Most of the confirmed cases are from South Africa, especially from Gauteng province, whose capital is Johannesburg. To a lesser extent, there are also confirmed cases in Hong Kong, Israel, Botswana and Belgium.
The organization also said on Friday that while there are still many uncertainties about the new version, Omicron carries a higher risk of reinfection than others.
Scientists say Omicron is the one with the largest number of mutations ever found – about 50, of which 30 are in proteins. Nail, which is important for the virus to enter the cell.
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