The Ministry of Health updated this evening (Saturday) that so far one verified person who had returned from Malawi, who was exposed to Lorient Omicron, has been identified in Israel, but it is suspected that seven more people have been infected with the new Orient. It was further reported that out of the seven, three of them have not been abroad recently.
To date, Belgium, the Netherlands, South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Belgium and the United Kingdom have announced that new verifications have been identified for the new corona breed. In addition, the suspicion of variant variants was also examined in Germany and the Czech Republic. As you may recall, the first report of a case of the omicron strain to the World Health Organization was three days ago, when it was found in a patient in South Africa.
In addition, as of yesterday, the Home Front Command has begun taking steps to assist in dealing with the Omicron strain that has been discovered in recent days. As part of the measures taken, hundreds of samples from the Home Front Command were sent to the homes of citizens who returned to Israel from the countries that are defined as “red” and are currently in home isolation, for the purpose of testing and adhering to the isolation laws.
In addition, it was decided to double the teams responsible for receiving returnees from abroad and transferring them to the isolation hotels. The upcoming flights that will land in Israel from the red countries (Seychelles and South Africa) will be diverted to Terminal 1,
The commander of the Alon headquarters, Brigadier General (Res.) Reli Margalit, wanted to reinforce the system of tests at the airport with additional PCR tests, and a dedicated investigation team was set up to track the African strain and prevent the spread and truncation of the infection chain.
Brigadier General Reli Margalit on the activity in front of the “Omicron” variant. Photo: Avshalom Shashoni
In view of the spread of the new strain in South African countries, the Prime Minister accepted the Ministry of Health’s recommendation to define them as red countries. In addition, the Prime Minister instructed to examine the immediate halting of flights from these countries to Israel and from Israel to them, or the application of another outline to prevent the spread of the strain in Israel. Later tonight, another discussion will be held on the subject.
In a follow-up discussion chaired by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, it was determined that the following countries were at this stage defined as red: South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Aswatini. Foreigners from these countries will not be able to enter Israel. In addition, all returnees to Israel from these countries, including those vaccinated with a third vaccine, will be referred for isolation in Corona hotels for 7 days, and will be released after performing 2 PCR tests that have a negative result. Passengers who refuse to be checked will be charged for 14 days of isolation at the Corona Hotel.
In addition, the Corona Cabinet is expected to convene tonight to discuss the next steps, in order to try to prevent its spread. According to a report in News 12, among the topics to be discussed are the return of GSS placements to locate contacts and chains of chain, the closure of state borders to foreign entrants and restrictions on returnees from destinations where the variant will be discovered. Of which there are most often “connection” flights to and from Africa.
According to a number of scientists, who reported the findings to The Guardian, the new version of the virus carries a high number of mutations and could lead to additional waves of illness, which will be centered on vaccine-resistant viruses. So far it has been discovered that the version in question has 32 different mutations in the protein that the various vaccines fight. According to scientists, the mutations can affect the ability of the virus to infect cells in the body, but can also affect the immune cells to attack the disease.
A respected virologist at Imperial University in London, Dr Tom Peacock, posted on Twitter a series of tweets about the new version, noting: “The remarkably high amount of the mutations suggests that it should cause real concern.” Need to monitor, it could be just a weird cluster of mutations that will not pass to other cells. I really hope so. “
Dr Mira Chand, a senior official at the UK Security and Health Agency, added: “Because the nature of viruses mutate frequently, it is not uncommon for new sets of mutations to appear, even in cases where isolated cases have been reported. Any mutation that appears to be spreading rapidly is being treated. “