June 28, 2022

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New Omicron Variation | The Hong Kong case came from Canada

Of the two cases of the Omigron variant discovered Friday in Hong Kong, one came from a Canadian traveler. Countries around the world facing the appearance of this confusing new variation are intensifying border controls.


Leila Dussault

Leila Dussault
Press

In Hong Kong, a traveler from South Africa tested positive for a type B1.1.529 named Omigron, Reuters reported on Friday. Another passenger, who came to him from Canada, tested positive when he was isolated in a hotel room opposite a South African passenger. According to a spokesman for Hong Kong health officials, if a traveler from Africa uses a mask with a valve in the area, the virus can spread to the next room occupant.

D.R. Theresa Tom, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the federal government would contact officials in Hong Kong about the situation, according to CD News. Friday. “This person has a good chance of catching him somewhere else [qu’au Canada], But you can never tell, said DR. Tom at the press conference. For that particular traveler, we would love to follow up to see if there is anything to go back to Canada.

Diagnosis and controls

After Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Hong Kong and Italy, the Czech Republic on Saturday reported the first case of Omigran variation on a female traveler returning from Namibia, Agency France-Hari reported.

On the Dutch side, about sixty passengers were isolated Saturday from Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa. “The Omigron variant may have been detected in those tested,” said the country’s National Institutes of Public Health. The final results will be announced on Sunday.

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Since Friday, Canada has banned travelers from South Africa from entering the country. Target countries are South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Namibia. The United States has added Malawi to its list.

Many countries have imposed restrictions on their borders. The British government, which first stopped flights from South Africa, has announced it will tighten entry rules for people of all nationalities: PCR testing and mandatory isolation until the end, in parallel with the mandatory return of masks to all stores.

Switzerland has announced that nationals from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Egypt and Malawi will be required to submit a Covit-19 test when boarding and entering Switzerland, and to remain in isolation for 10 days. It has already been available since Friday evening to people from several countries in South Africa, Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.

If another person’s “contact” is tested favorably on the new variant, it should be isolated despite being vaccinated, for its part, the French Ministry of Health announced on Saturday evening.

Israel announced on Saturday that it would close its borders to foreign travelers for two weeks in its hopes of preventing the spread of the new variant, according to Reuters. Israeli citizens must go to isolation.

With the France-Press Agency