December 6, 2022

WHO names new Govt variant Omigron, warns against travel measures

  • WHO announces B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern after a meeting of experts
  • Quotes “harmful change in COVID-19 infections.”
  • Warns countries against imposing travel restrictions

GENEVA, Nov. 26 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday classified the B.1.1.529 variant found in South Africa as the SARS-CoV-2 variant of anxiety, saying it could spread faster than others. Patterns.

Preliminary evidence suggests that there is an increased risk of relapse and “a detrimental change in COVID-19 infections,” it said in a statement after a closed meeting of independent experts who reviewed the data.

Infections have risen sharply in South Africa in recent weeks, according to the WHO, which now coincides with the detection of a variant designated as Omigron.

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“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are related. Initial evidence suggests that there is a higher risk of recurrence of this variant compared to other (variants of anxiety).

Omigron is the fifth variant to hold such a position. read more

“This variant has been detected at a faster rate than previous epidemics, and this variant may have a developmental benefit,” the WHO said.

It said current PCR tests continue to successfully detect variance.

In November, in Soweto, South Africa, a street vendor looks at his cell phone after it was announced that the British had banned flights from South Africa due to the detection of a new corona virus disease (COVID-19). 26, 2021. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

Earlier, the WHO warned countries against imposing travel restrictions linked to the variant of the COVID-19, saying they should take a “risk-based and scientific approach”.

Global officials have responded cautiously to the new variation discovered in South Africa, with the EU and Britain tightening border controls as scientists seek to determine whether the mutation is vaccine-resistant. L1N2SH089

“At this point, we are warning against the implementation of travel measures,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeyer told the UN in Geneva. “The WHO recommends that countries continue to adopt a risk-based and scientific approach when implementing travel activities.”

It will take several weeks to determine the spread of the variant and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments against it, he said, adding that 100 rows of the variant have been reported so far.

People should wear masks as much as possible, avoid large crowds, ventilate rooms and maintain hand hygiene, Lindmeyer added.

Mike Ryan, WHO’s Director of Emergencies, praised South African public health organizations for taking the signal of a new variation.

But he warned that while in some countries there are systems in place to do this, in other places the situation is often not clear.

“So it is very important that there are no conclusive answers here, especially with regard to South Africa,” he said. “As we’ve seen in the past, the minute any kind of variation is mentioned, everyone closes borders and restricts travel.”

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Stephanie Nebehe in Geneva and Alexander the Great in Johannesburg; Editing by Alison Williams, Kim Gogil, Alex Richardson, Giles Elcutt and Cynthia Asterman

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