The WHO said on Monday (November 29) that this variant may cause serious consequences in some areas.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus once again called for a global push to provide vaccines to poorer countries.
He warned that COVID-19 “has not let us go” now.
Earlier this month, this new variant was discovered in South Africa, and initial evidence suggests that it carries a higher risk of infection. South Africa quickly reported this variant to the WHO, which was praised.
“The number of mutant spike proteins in Omi Keron has never been seen before, and some of them may have a worrying impact on the course of the global pandemic,” the WHO said.
In a speech on Monday, Tan Desai said that scientists around the world are working to understand whether the new variant is more contagious, the risk of re-infection, and how it responds to the vaccine.
“The Omi Keron emergency itself is another reminder that although many of us feel that we can let go of the new crown virus, it has not let us go,” he said.
He also said that there have been no deaths related to the new variant.
Countries that have reported cases of new variants include Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Among them, Portugal detected 13 cases of Omi Keron variant infections on Monday, all of which were related to players of Belenenses SAD, the Portuguese Super League football team.
The Portuguese Health Authority stated that one of the players of the team recently returned from South Africa.
The new variants have caused the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States to impose travel bans on many countries in southern Africa-a decision that has been criticized by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Japan announced that it will ban new foreign visitors from entering the country starting early on Tuesday, while Australia has suspended long-awaited border restrictions.
The original plan was for international students and “skilled workers” visa holders to enter Australia from Wednesday, but this measure has now been postponed to December 15.
Israel also prohibits foreigners from entering the country.
In the UK, all people over the age of 18 will be provided with a booster shot of the new crown vaccine to help prevent a new wave of epidemics caused by Omi Kejon.
The United States also has a similar attitude. President Biden urged the American people to get vaccinated and strengthened shots. He also urged people to wear masks indoors.
However, Biden also said that he currently has no plans to further implement travel bans or blockade orders in the United States.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, since the start of the global pandemic in 2020, there have been more than 261 million confirmed cases of the new crown worldwide and 5 million deaths.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier announced new anti-epidemic measures, including:
- Anyone entering the UK will have to undergo a nucleic acid test within two days and self-quarantine before a negative result is obtained
- All contacts with suspected cases of Omi Keron must self-isolate, regardless of whether the vaccination is completed or not
- Faces must be covered in shops and public transportation-but bars and restaurants are exempt
- The Minister of Health has asked the consultant to consider rapidly expanding the booster shot, including shortening the time interval between the second shot and the booster shot.
Analysis: once again ringing the alarm for vaccination
——BBC Health Correspondent Fergus Walsh (Fergus Walsh)
The population of South Africa is quite young, and doctors report that Omi Keron caused mild symptoms and the number of hospital admissions has not increased, which is gratifying.
But what we need to see is what happens when new variants enter the elderly population, who are the most vulnerable group under the new crown epidemic.
We also need to see how those who have been fully vaccinated, and those who have received booster shots, react to Omi Keron. So far, the vaccine has proven to be highly effective in providing strong protection and avoiding severe illnesses after infection by various variants.
If the vaccine can prevent people from becoming severely ill after being infected with Omi Keron, then a certain degree of breakthrough infection will not be catastrophic, although no one wants it.
Of course, the premise is that people have been vaccinated. If it counts as anything, this is a wake-up call for those who have not been vaccinated to get up and get an injection.