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World WHO says measures against delta work for omicron variant too

09:50  03 december  2021
09:50  03 december  2021 Source:   msn.com

Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation

  Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation Several countries, including the U.S., Japan and Israel, have announced travel restrictions to avoid the mass spread of the latest COVID variant.Germany's Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration said Saturday that an individual who traveled to Germany from South Africa is suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant.

As we face the Omicron variant , boosters are more important than ever. Boosters increase the strength of your antibody response, so when the virus mutates, a booster makes it more likely that your antibodies can protect you against the new variant . This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Rapid Response Teams to Help Battle Rising Cases: Today, the President will announce new actions to help states battle any potential COVID-19 outbreaks this winter, including of the Omicron variant . As we worked to bring down the Delta surge throughout this summer and fall, we successfully deployed

But if the current Delta variant can spread here and Omicron combines faster transmission with some ability to evade immunity, then it too has the potential to circulate. All the measures can do is buy time, but for what? Science and boosters. There are important scientific questions that need answering Pharmaceutical companies say they could update vaccines to match the Omicron variant in around 100 days if they were needed. It is worth noting we do have new weapons in our armoury in the form of anti -viral drugs. Paxlovid and molnupiravir both target the inner workings of the virus and experts

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — World Health Organization officials in the Western Pacific say border closures adopted by some countries may buy time to deal with the omicron coronavirus variant, but measures put in place and experience gained in dealing with the delta variant should remain the foundation for fighting the pandemic.

In this handout photo provided by the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr. Takeshi Kasai, speaks in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. World Health Organization officials in the Western Pacific  Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, say border closures adopted by some countries may buy time to deal with the omicron coronavirus variant, but measures put in place and experience gained in dealing with the delta variant should remain the foundation for fighting the pandemic. (World Health Organization via AP): Virus Outbreak Philippines © Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Philippines A traveler arrives to enter into a COVID-19 testing center at the Incheon International Airport In Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. South Korea's daily jump in coronavirus infections exceeded 5,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, as a delta-driven surge also pushed hospitalizations and deaths to record highs. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) © Provided by Associated Press A traveler arrives to enter into a COVID-19 testing center at the Incheon International Airport In Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. South Korea's daily jump in coronavirus infections exceeded 5,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, as a delta-driven surge also pushed hospitalizations and deaths to record highs. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

While a few regional countries are facing surges, COVID-19 cases and deaths in many others have decreased and plateaued, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr. Takeshi Kasai told reporters Friday in a virtual news conference broadcast from Manila, Philippines.

Scotland Officials Concerned Omicron Variant Has Community Spread as 6 Cases Confirmed

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WHO warns of very high global risk from Omicron . Omicron could lead to severe consequences in some regions, the World Health Organization has warned. Joe Phaahla says South Africa is experienced in dealing with Covid variants Omicron : Will new measures against variant work ?

Is this variant more severe than Delta ? If not, maybe it's a good thing? To answer these questions and more, Dr. Anthony Fauci , the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta Dr. Fauci said President Biden and his team are "talking about of making sure that the unvaccinated get vaccinated and that people who are fully vaccinated get their boosters as quickly as they possibly can if they are eligible. Because the question arises, you jump ahead of yourself and you say , well, is there

“Border control can delay the virus coming in and buy time. But every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases," Kasai said. “The positive news in all of this is that none of the information we have currently about omicron suggests we need to change the directions of our response."

Much remains unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious, as some health authorities suspect, or if it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can thwart the vaccine.

Kasai said omicron has been designated a variant of concern because of the number of mutations and because early information suggests it may be more transmissible than other variants of the virus. More testing and observation is necessary, he said.

Americans face at least 2 weeks of uncertainty as scientists work to answer 3 key questions about the new Omicron variant

  Americans face at least 2 weeks of uncertainty as scientists work to answer 3 key questions about the new Omicron variant Americans face at least two weeks of uncertainty before major questions may get answered about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. © Steve Pfost/Newsday/Getty Images Stony Brook, N.Y.: Robert Baird, of Centereach, New York is given a booster shot as members of the community are administered the COVID-19 vaccination and booster at Stony Brook University Research and Development Park in Stony Brook, New York on Nov. 17, 2021.

“Everyone in whom the Omicron variant was found on Friday was vaccinated,” Willem van den Oetelaar, spokesperson for the Kennemerland health board, told CNN in a statement. WHO has issued guidance against travel bans. “The reason we’re not keen on travel bans is not just because it harms the countries that you’re shutting your borders to, but also it really limits the spread of critical things like the scientific materials you need, the humanitarian supplies you need to respond to something like this outbreak,” Harris said .

The Omicron variant has fuelled a “worrying” surge in coronavirus cases in the country and is rapidly becoming the dominant strain, local health officials have said . Omicron appears to be reinfecting people at three times the rate of previous strains, experts in South Africa previously said . Multiple cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in New York, health officials said Thursday, including a man who attended an anime convention in Manhattan in late November and tested positive for the variant when he returned home to Minnesota.

Thus far, four countries and regions in the Western Pacific — Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea — have reported cases of the omicron variant, said WHO Regional Emergency Director Dr. Babatunde Olowokure. That number is likely to go up as more cases are discovered globally, Olowokure said.

Singapore and Malaysia have also reported their first cases in the last 24 hours, along with India, which falls just outside the WHO Western Pacific Region.

In the Philippines, government epidemiology bureau director Althea de Guzman said Friday that one of 71 people located by authorities after arriving in the country from South Africa in the last two weeks had tested positive for the coronavirus and still more tests are underway to determine if it's the omicron variant.

“We are preparing and bracing our health system in case, first, omicron enters here and, second, we suddenly see a spike in cases,” de Guzman said.

How serious is omicron? It will take weeks to understand new COVID-19 variant, experts say.

  How serious is omicron? It will take weeks to understand new COVID-19 variant, experts say. The new omicron variant presents more questions (and uncertainty) than answers. And it will take a few weeks for data to be collected and tracked.The answer to all three is an unsatisfying “We don’t know yet.

Omicron patients’ symptoms were “so different and so mild from those I had treated before.” Meanwhile, the G-7 - at the UK's urging - is exhorting its members to take bold action to make sure the variant doesn't become a threat. Source: NYT. Patients infected with the new strain appear to be Ministers praised the exemplary work of South Africa in both detecting the variant and alerting others to it. There was strong support to set up an international pathogen surveillance network within the framework of the World Health Organization ( WHO ). Ministers also recognised the strategic relevance

Fauci had previously said on ABC Sunday it was “really too early to say ” whether restrictions like lockdowns would be necessary in light of omicron until more data about the variant is available, but noted, “You want to be prepared to do anything and everything.” Crucial Quote. More information on the severity of the omicron variant should be known within the next week or so, Fauci said , and the effectiveness of the vaccines against the new strain is now being tested and results are expected in at least two weeks.

The emergence of omicron is of particularly concern for organizers of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, now just weeks away.

Beijing is adopting a “series of comprehensive prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of the spread of imported outbreaks, effectively protect the health of all participants and people of the hosting cities, and ensure that the competition runs safely and smoothly as scheduled,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Weidong

China has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for COVID-19 transmission and has some of the world's strictest border controls. Games participants will have to live and compete inside a bubble and only spectators who are residents of China and have been vaccinated and tested will be permitted at venues.

Beijing's measures would seem to be adequate for now.

In terms of what countries should be doing now, our experiences over the last few years, especially in responding to delta, provides a guide of what we need to do, as well as how to cope with future surges in a more sustainable way, Olowokure said in Manila.

Hard-Hit Brazil Sees First Cases of Omicron Variant, Pair of Travelers From South Africa

  Hard-Hit Brazil Sees First Cases of Omicron Variant, Pair of Travelers From South Africa The travelers arrived in Brazil on Nov. 23 and took a PCR test before they planned to return to South Africa two days later, the secretariat statement said.These are the first confirmed cases of the omicron variant in Latin America, in a country with over 600,000 deaths related to COVID reported, a figure that analysts think is below the actual number.

Those include full vaccination coverage, social distancing, mask wearing and other measures. The goal is to “ensure we are treating the right patients in the right place at the right time, and so therefore ensuring that ICU beds are available, particularly for those who need them," he said.

Despite the positive trends in handling the pandemic in the Western Pacific region, largely through high vaccination rates, “we cannot be complacent," Kasai said.

Globally, cases have been increasing for seven consecutive weeks and the number of deaths has started to rise again too, driven largely by the delta variant and decreased use of protective measures in other parts of the world, he said.

“We should not be surprised to see more surges in the future. As long as transmission continues, the virus can continue to mutate as the emergence of omicron demonstrates, reminding us of the need to stay vigilant," Kasai said.

He warned especially about the likelihood of surges due to more gatherings and movement of people during the holiday season. The northern winter season will likely bring other infectious respiratory diseases such as influenza alongside COVID-19, Kasai said.

“It is clear that this pandemic is far from over and I know that people are worried about omicron," he said. “But my message today is that we can adapt the way we manage this virus to better cope with the future surges and reduce their health, social and economic impacts."

The WHO Western Pacific Region includes 37 countries and areas from Palau to Mongolia.

Rhode Island reports first case of omicron variant .
Rhode Island has reported its first case of the omicron variant, making it one of the dozens of states to have detected the new COVID-19 strain. Gov. Dan McKee (D) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced the omicron case in a joint statement on Saturday. The infected individual is in their 20s and recently traveled from New York to Providence, according to the statement. The individual was fully vaccinated, but did not have a booster shot. "We fully expected that Omicron would eventually be detected in Rhode Island as it has been in our neighboring states. I want to be clear: Rhode Island is prepared. This is not cause for panic," McKee said. Video: U.K.

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