Governments worldwide have rushed to contain the new Omicron B.1.1.529, heavily mutated variant Covid-19 Strain Sunday. With Thailand slamming its borders shut to eight South African nations. Presently there have been no reported cases in Thailand.
The Omicron-variant has cast doubt on global efforts to fight the pandemic, as countries have been forced to reimpose measures they thought were gone.
There is a race among scientists to determine whether the highly mutated strain can evade existing vaccines.
Other countries, including key travel hub Qatar, the United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Netherlands, have announced plans to restrict travel from southern Africa, where the virus first appeared.
Israel said it will close its borders to all foreigners in a bid to counter the spread of the variant, just four weeks after reopening to tourists after a prolonged closure caused by Covid.
Israel will order 10 million PCR test kits to stem the “very dangerous” strain, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
Omicron variant found in sever countries
The prime minister’s office said Israeli citizens who have been vaccinated against covid-19 will have to submit to a negative PCR test and quarantine for three days; those who have not will have to quarantine for seven days.
As of Sunday, the virus had been detected for the first time in two passengers from southern Africa who flew into Sydney after they were tested. It had already been found all over the world from the Netherlands to Hong Kong and Australia.
Australia recently lifted a ban on citizens traveling overseas without permission, with its border expected to open to skilled workers and international students by year’s end.
Meanwhile, scientists in South Africa announced last week that they detected a strain with ten mutations, compared with three mutations in Beta or two mutations in Delta — the strain that hit the global recovery hard and sent millions worldwide back into lockdown.
In addition to reviving geopolitical fault lines, the South African variant has also been a source of thinly veiled criticism of China’s handling of the original outbreak, as the US has hailed South Africa’s openness about the new strain.
Source: CTN News