Britain on Saturday tightened the rules regarding wearing of masks and arrival of international travelers after two cases of infection from Omicron. In Germany and Italy also, the infection was confirmed in the form of Omicron on Saturday. Infection of this form of virus has also been found in travelers arriving in Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top government expert on infectious diseases, said it would not be surprising if the presence of this form of the virus was already known in the US.
“We haven’t found a case for it yet, but when there’s a virus around you and it’s spreading at this level… it’s bound to spread everywhere,” he told NBS television. ‘
There is concern about the pandemic across the world, with the virus likely to have more immunity to the vaccines that have been introduced so far and the lockdown restrictions are expected to remain in force for a longer period.
It is noteworthy that due to the ongoing epidemic for the last two years, more than 5 million people have died all over the world and the countries of the whole world are on high alert against this new threat. Many countries have already suspended incoming flights from South Africa to give them time to assess Omicron and find out if the virus is spreading faster than the current delta form. .
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a need to take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people were confirmed infected with a new form of the virus in England. Steps announced by Johnson to prevent the spread of this form of the virus include conducting an RT-PCR test on the second day of arrival in the country and a provision for self-isolation until the report confirms no infection. “We are going to speed up the campaign for a booster dose from today,” he said.
Britain has also decided to put Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia on the red list from Sunday, apart from Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesetho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This means that people coming from here will have to follow the segregation rule.
Several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Thailand and the US, have also imposed restrictions on South African countries in the last few days in view of the new form of the virus. The move is contrary to the suggestion of the World Health Organisation, in which it had asked to avoid overreaction without assessment.
Despite the ban on flights by many countries, there is a growing concern that the form of the virus has already spread to many countries of the world. Recently, cases of infection with Omicron have been confirmed in Italy and Germany.
The Netherlands’ Public Health Institute said Omicron infection may have been found in several people and that these people who arrived in Amsterdam on Friday on two planes from South Africa have been kept in isolation.
AP Dheeraj Simmi