Omicron Variant Detected in 8 Countries Outside Africa So Far

Omicron Variant Detected in 8 Countries Outside Africa So Far

The Omicron coronavirus variant which was first detected in Botswana has now been detected in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy among other countries. 

Recently, Israel confirmed its first Omicron case and decided to close borders for all foreigners again.

The Netherlands found 13 cases of the new variant among passengers coming from South Africa.

The Czech Republic confirmed the patient in the hospital is positive for the new variant.

Australia confirmed positive Omicron cases in Sydney for 2 passengers who arrived from South Africa.

Hong Kong found already 5 positive results of Omicron.

Omicron has been deemed a ‘variant of concern’, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) most severe category, causing governments around the world to reintroduce precautionary measures. 

Although the variant is still a relative mystery to scientists, they fear that it is more contagious than other variants. Potentially more worrisome is that it contains mutations in its proteins which make it less responsive to COVID-19 vaccines.

The first country to ban entry of all foreigners was Israel who instituted a travel ban, pending government approval, which would last 14 days.

With this recent news, the European Union will now be restricting travel from seven countries in southern Africa (listed alphabetically): Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Other countries have followed Israel and the European Union with travel bans, as new travel restrictions were also recently announced by President Joe Biden in the United States. 

On top of all the travel restrictions now resuming, Omicron took a swift economic hit plummeting oil prices. US crude had its worst day since April 27, 2020, when Covid was spreading rapidly through the country.