News ID: 318309
Published: 0307 GMT November 28, 2021

No case of new coronavirus variant reported: Iran

No case of new coronavirus variant reported: Iran
ISNA

International Desk

Iran said on Sunday that no case of the new COVID-19 variant had been detected in the country as Omicron kept spreading around the world.

“Until today, no case of the new coronavirus variant, which is rampant in South Africa, has been reported in the country,” Health Minister Bahram Einollahi said, according to IRNA.

Iran has imposed restrictions on travel from six African nations – South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.

Einollahi said measures will be taken at the entry points to prevent the highly contagious variant from making its way into the country.

Despite efforts made by countries to seal themselves off against Omicron, the new strain was detected in more nations, with 13 cases found in the Netherlands and two each in Denmark and Australia.

Dutch health authorities announced that the 13 cases of the variant were detected among passengers who were on flights from South Africa that arrived in Amsterdam on Friday, Reuters reported.

Authorities had tested all of the more than 600 passengers on those two flights and had found 61 coronavirus cases, going on to test those for the new variant.

“It is not unlikely more cases will appear in the Netherlands,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told a news conference in Rotterdam. “This could possibly be the tip of the iceberg.”

First discovered in South Africa, the variant has now been detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Botswana, Australia and Hong Kong.

The discovery of Omicron, dubbed a "variant of concern" last week by the World Health Organization, has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic.

Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although experts do not know yet if it will cause more or less severe COVID-19 compared to other strains.

Denmark’s infectious disease authority said on Sunday it has registered two cases of the variant in travelers from South Africa.

Health officials in Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, said two passengers who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa on Saturday evening had tested positive for the variant.

Austria was investigating a suspected case on Sunday and in France, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the variant was probably already circulating there.

Many countries have imposed or are planning restrictions on travel from southern Africa. The South African government denounced this on Saturday as unfair and potentially harmful to its economy – saying it is being punished for its scientific ability to identify coronavirus variants early.

 

 

    

 

   
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