The World Health Organization on Friday declared the recently-discovered B.1.1.529 pressure of Covid-19 to be a variant of concern, renaming it Omicron.
“Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in Covid-19 epidemiology… the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern, named Omicron,” the UN well being company stated in a press release.
Meanwhile, EU officers holding an emergency assembly over the variant agreed on Friday to induce all 27 nations within the bloc to limit journey from that area.
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“Member States agreed to introduce rapidly restrictions on all travel into the EU from seven countries in the Southern Africa region: Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe,” European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer tweeted.
The measure was solely a suggestion to droop flights from these African nations.
“This is not a formal decision but a recommendation. It is up to each member state to take its own decisions,” an EU official instructed AFP.
Many EU member states had already gone forward with flight suspensions from some or the entire seven African international locations. Others have been anticipated to comply with swimsuit over coming days.
An EU official instructed AFP that the diplomats and officers assembly in Brussels beneath the EU’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) mechanism opted to emphasize “restrictions” over journey suspensions.
That is as a result of EU residents and residents have been allowed to return to their dwelling international locations — although will seemingly face PCR checks and quarantine on arrival.
Non-EU residents and residents can be barred from travelling into the EU beneath the agreed suggestion.
The present Slovenian presidency of the European Union tweeted that the IPCR assembly agreed to activate an “emergency brake” permitting member states to quickly change journey standards to maintain tempo with modifications introduced on by Covid.
The presidency “called upon members to test and quarantine all incoming passengers” in its tweet.
There was no fast fuller assertion giving particulars, so it was not clear whether or not that meant passengers from the seven African international locations, or all passengers arriving within the EU no matter level of origin.