Monday, January 17

Covid-19: a first suspected case of the Omicron variant detected in Germany

After Belgium. A first suspected case of the new Omicron variant was detected in Germany in a person recently returned from South Africa, regional authorities in the state of Hesse (West) announced on Saturday.

“The Omicron variant is in all likelihood already present in Germany,” regional Minister of Social Affairs Kai Klose announced on Twitter.

Tests carried out on Friday evening on a passenger arriving from South Africa at Frankfurt airport, the main airport in the most populous country in the European Union, revealed “several mutations typical of Omicron”, he said. -he adds.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Czech Republic, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Saturday that a local laboratory was researching a sample taken from a woman who had traveled to Namibia and tested positive for Covid-19 upon her return.

A variant deemed to be of concern

The new variant of the coronavirus, first reported by South Africa on November 24, was deemed “worrying” by the WHO on Friday, which named it Omicron. It would present an increased risk of contagion compared to other variants including Delta, dominant and already very contagious.

Omicron has also been identified in Israel on a person from Malawi, Botswana and Hong Kong.

The discovery of a suspected case in Germany comes the day after the announcement by Belgium of a first known case in Europe of the new variant. It was an unvaccinated person who arrived on November 11 from Egypt via Turkey.

There is a “high to very high” risk of the Omicron variant spreading in Europe, the EU health agency said. The European Union has recommended suspending all travel from South Africa and six other countries in the region, which Germany had already decided.

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