Which countries have detected cases of ‘alarming’ new Omicron COVID variant?

Following the discovery of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, some countries have already reported cases. Spores is now made by the way of the new variant, which confirms that 87 cases have already been registered.

This COVID variant was first recorded in Botswana, where six cases have already been reported. Three of these cases have been sequenced and await results. The variety appeared to be spreading rapidly to neighboring South Africa. BNO News reported that 77 cases have been identified, resulting in canceled flights out of the country.

These are not the only countries that have seen cases of Omicron emerge. Hong Kong Center for Health Protection reported that at least two cases had been attributed to the new variant through genome sequencing. The Israeli Ministry of Health also issued a statement saying a case of Omicron was found in the country, with two more potentially attributed to the variant. The Belgian universities UZ Leuven and KU Leuven have also confirmed that a case of Omicron was found under test.

In total, five countries have currently registered cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Tambo International Airport
A number of nations moved to stop flights from southern Africa on Friday in response to news of a new, potentially more transmissible COVID-19 variant being discovered in South Africa. People are queuing up to board the Air France flight to Paris at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa on 26 November.
AP Photo / Jerome Delay

Omicron can bring significant problems to countries worldwide. GISAID, a global open source virus tracker, said the variant “includes [of] more [spike amino acid chages] which was previously known to affect receptor binding and antibody release. “The Guardian elaborated on this, saying that Omicron has 32 potential mutations in the nail protein. In a statement, the World Health Organization has called it a variant of concern.

“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are of concern,” the statement said. “Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of re-infection with this variant compared to other VOCs.”

The WHO also reported that this variant could be more transferable, with cases appearing to “increase” in the provinces of South Africa. The last variant that was labeled as a variant of concern was the Delta variant, which is now the most prevalent coronavirus in the United States. However, Omicron can be significantly more dangerous. Federation of American Scientists Senior Fellow Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding said Omicron could be up to 500 percent more contagious than Delta.

Other countries are now struggling to protect their citizens from this burden through travel restrictions. The United States, Britain, Israel, Singapore and Japan have already announced plans to restrict or ban travel to and from South Africa and its surrounding countries.

Newsweek contacted the CDC for a comment.

WHO logo
The World Health Organization labeled the Omicron variant as a variant of concern. A photo taken on 24 February 2020 shows the WHO logo at their headquarters in Geneva.
Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images
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