On Saturday (27), the Regional Health Ministry said that two cases of the new Micron type of coronavirus were detected in the state of Bavaria, southern Germany.
The official said the two infected people entered Germany at Munich airport on November 24, before Germany classified South Africa as a changing region for the virus, and they are now isolated.
In Italy, the micron variant has been diagnosed, according to the National Institute of Health (ISS).
The genomes were sequenced in the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, Virology and Emergency Biodiagnostics at Sacco Hospital, Milan, from a positive sample of a patient from Mozambique.
The patient and his family are in good health, the International Space Station said, adding that the sequencing of the sample is under further confirmation.
The UK announced new measures today to try to slow the spread of the newly identified micron variant. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said all new arrivals to the country would have to get tested and that it was time for the booster doses of the vaccine to be ramped up.
“We will require anyone entering the UK to take a PCR test at the end of the second day after arrival and isolate themselves until the test result is negative,” Johnson said at a news conference.
He said those who have come into contact with people who have tested positive for a suspected case of Omicron will have to self-isolate for 10 days and that the government will tighten rules on the use of masks.
He added that the program to provide booster doses of the vaccine will also be intensified.
Speaking alongside Johnson, England’s medical director Chris Whitty said there was a reasonable chance the newly identified strain may be less easy to fight off vaccines.
“There is a reasonable chance that there will be at least some degree of vaccine escape with this alternative,” Whitty said.
Earlier this Saturday, Health Minister Sajid Javid reported that two cases linked to the new omicron variant had been discovered in the UK, linked to travel to South Africa.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department today (27) advised against travel to eight countries in South Africa after the White House announced new travel restrictions in response to the new micron variant of COVID-19.
The CDC raised its travel warning to level four: very high for South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini and Botswana, while the State Department issued parallel “do not travel” warnings on Saturday.
On Monday (22), the CDC lowered the Covid-19 travel alert for South Africa to “Level 1: Low”.
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