Which countries have confirmed cases of the new variant? Which are waiting to be determined by the results of the sequencing?
Here are the latest updates from Europe.
As of this writing, two cases of infection with the Omicron variant have been confirmed by health authorities in the state of Bavaria in southern Germany. The two travelers arrived at Munich airport, returning from South Africa.
So far, only one case of the Omicron variant has been confirmed after testing after a Christmas party in Oslo. However, half of the 120 dinner attendees tested positive for COVID-19, fearing that more of these cases may be of the Omicron variant. This would make the Oslo infections the biggest Omicron epidemic in Europe.
The Austrian government has so far confirmed one case: a man from the Tyrol region who recently visited South Africa.
The country identified the first case of the Omicron variant on European soil on Friday. According to the Belgian public channel RTBF, the patient is a young woman who was in Egypt and had been showing symptoms for 11 days.
Danish health authorities confirmed the presence of the variant in the country on Sunday. Two people are currently infected. A school in Odense was closed on Monday pending the results of the sequencing analysis following a suspected case of COVID-19 discovered in a student.
The discovery of six people in Scotland testing positive for the new variant brought the total number of cases across the country to nine on Monday morning.
According to Scottish Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney, four of the Scottish cases are not linked to people who have traveled to Africa.
Wei Shen Lim, chairman of a UK government sub-committee on vaccinations, told a press briefing on Monday that all adults between the ages of 18 and 34 should now be included in the booster program.
The first confirmed case in Ireland of the Omicron variant was identified by “blind luck”, according to Dr Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday. The case involved a person who recently returned from a southern African country before travel restrictions were imposed and who subsequently developed symptoms requiring a PCR test.
A case of the Omicron variant has been detected in Spain, a hospital in Madrid announced on Monday.
“The microbiology department of the Gregorio Marañon hospital in Madrid has announced the first confirmation of the Omicron variant in Spain,” the public institution said on Twitter, adding that it was a “traveler from Africa of the South ”and that he“ was fine ”. .
Finland is currently investigating two suspected carriers of the variant. In both cases, they would have been infected abroad.
Local authorities ordered the isolation of the two people in question. They also indicated that it would take a few days to complete the sequencing analysis.
A confirmed case of the Omicron variant has been detected in France on Reunion Island. The announcement was made on Tuesday, November 30, by a researcher of emerging infectious diseases on tropical islands (Infectious Process in Tropical Island Environment).
Earlier on November 28, the Ministry of Solidarity and Health had made public the potential presence of the variant in France. Eight other suspected cases are being analyzed.
“The sequencing of samples from these patients is prioritized or organized in order to obtain diagnostic confirmation as soon as possible,” said Olivier Véran, French Minister of Health in a press release. These people and their relatives have all been placed in isolation.
The country has a confirmed Omicroncase. The man from the Naples region had returned from Mozambique, the Italian Higher Institute of Health (ISS) announced on Saturday.
The ISS said the patient and his family were in good health.
With 16 cases now confirmed, the Netherlands has one of the highest numbers of new variant infections in Europe.
So far, 61 recently arrived passengers from South Africa have tested positive for COVID-19. The Dutch authorities have confirmed the presence of the new variant in at least 14 of them.
“The investigation is not yet over. The new variant could be found in other samples, ”said the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM).
Tests are underway to determine whether 13 players from Belenenses SAD football club have been infected with the new variant following a trip to South Africa by a member of their team.
In a statement released Monday morning, the National Institute of Health (Insa) revealed that “preliminary tests strongly suggest that the thirteen cases (…) are linked to the worrying variant Omicron”.
Further tests should be performed.
A regional hospital in Liberec, in the north of the Czech Republic, announced on Saturday the discovery of the Omicron variant in a patient with COVID-19.
The woman, who was vaccinated and had mild symptoms, traveled to Namibia before returning to the Czech Republic via South Africa and Dubai.
A case was detected and confirmed on Monday by the Swedish National Public Health Agency. The person is a returnee from South Africa.
Swiss health authorities announced on Sunday the discovery of a “first probable case” in a person returning from South Africa.