Of the two cases of the Omicron variant detected in Hong Kong on Friday, one was a traveler from Canada. In the face of the emergence of this worrying new form around the world, countries are intensifying restrictions at their borders.
Reuters reported Friday in Hong Kong that a South African traveler has tested positive for the B.1.1.529 variant called Omicron. Another traveler, who came to him from Canada, also tested positive while in quarantine in a hotel room opposite the South African traveler’s room. A spokesman for the health authorities in Hong Kong said that the use of a valve mask by a traveler from Africa can transmit the virus to the occupant of the next room.
considered ds Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health official, said the federal government will be in contact with authorities in Hong Kong regarding the situation, CTV News reported. Friday. “There is a good chance that this man has been arrested elsewhere [qu’au Canada]d saids Tam at a press conference. We just want to follow up to see if there’s anything we need to track back to Canada, for that particular traveler.
Statements and Restrictions
After Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Hong Kong and Italy, the Czech Republic announced its first case of omicron on Saturday in a female passenger returning from Namibia, according to AFP.
On the Dutch side, about sixty passengers from Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, were placed in quarantine on Saturday. “It is likely that the Omicron variant was found among those tested,” the country’s National Institute of Public Health said. Final results should be announced on Sunday.
Since Friday, Canada has banned travelers from South Africa from entering the country. The target countries are South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Namibia. The United States added Malawi to its list.
Several countries have imposed restrictions on their borders. The first to suspend flights from South Africa, the British government announced the tightening of entry rules for arrivals of all origins: PCR testing and compulsory isolation until the result, in parallel with the return of the compulsory mask in all stores.
Switzerland also announced that people from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Egypt and Malawi must, upon entry and entry into Switzerland, test negative for COVID-19 and be placed in quarantine for 10 days, according to AFP. This has already been the case since Friday evening for people from several countries in South Africa, Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.
For its part, the French Ministry of Health announced on Saturday evening that any person “in contact” with another person who tested positive for the new variant will have to be isolated, even if he has been vaccinated.
For its part, Israel announced, on Saturday, the closure of its borders to foreign travelers for a period of two weeks, in the hope of preventing the spread of the new alternative, according to Reuters. Israeli citizens will have to go into quarantine.
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