Omicron in Europe: Where have cases of the new COVID variant been detected?

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First discovered in South Africa, the potentially more virulent COVID-19 variant of Omicron is now spreading around the world. Following its discovery last week, European countries were among the first to report cases on their territory.

Which countries have confirmed cases of the new variant? Which are waiting to be determined by sequencing results?

Here are the latest updates from Europe along with maps to help track the spread of the variant.

Austria

The Austrian government has so far confirmed one case: a man from the Tyrol region who recently traveled to South Africa.

Belgium

The country identified the first case of the Omicron variant on European soil on Friday. According to the Belgian public broadcaster RTBF, the patient is a young woman who was in Egypt and had been showing symptoms for 11 days.

Czech Republic

A regional hospital in Liberec in the north of the Czech Republic announced the discovery of the Omicron variant in a patient with COVID-19 on Saturday.

The vaccinated woman with mild symptoms had traveled to Namibia before returning to the Czech Republic via South Africa and Dubai.

Denmark

Denmark’s health authorities confirmed the occurrence 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 a sequence analysis following a suspected case of COVID-19 in a student.

Finland

Finland is currently investigating two alleged carriers of the variant. In both cases, they are said to have been infected abroad.

The local authorities have ordered that the two people concerned be isolated. They also stated that it would take a few days to complete the sequencing analysis.

France

The Ministry of Health announced on Friday, December 3, that nine cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected in France. Four cases were confirmed in France on Thursday evening.

The first was on Reunion Island, with a traveler returning from Mauritius from a trip to Mozambique.

Two further cases were found in Seine-et-Marne (near Paris) and Haut-Rhin (near the German border) among returnees from South Africa. The last case involved a Seine-et-Marne resident who had not been vaccinated and had traveled to Nigeria.

These people and their loved ones have all been isolated.

Germany

At the time of going to press, two cases of infection with the Omicron variant had been confirmed by the health authorities of the southern German state of Bavaria. The two travelers arrived at Munich Airport after returning from South Africa.

Greece

A man on the Greek island of Crete who tested positive for COVID-19 is suspected of having the Omicron variant. He had recently returned from South Africa.

Iceland

Despite the introduction of border restrictions following the discovery of the Omicron variant, the Icelandic health authorities announced on the 1st. Their conclusion was that the variant had existed in Icelandic society for some time.

Italy

The country has a confirmed omicroncase. The man from the Naples region has returned from Mozambique, the Italian Higher Institute of Health (ISS) announced on Saturday.

The ISS said the patient and his family are in good health.

Ireland

Ireland’s first confirmed case of the Omicron variant was found, according to Dr. Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, speaking at a press conference Wednesday, identified by “blind luck”. The case involved a person who had recently returned from a country in southern Africa before the travel restrictions were imposed and then developed symptoms that required a PCR test.

The Netherlands

With 13 confirmed cases, the Netherlands has one of the highest numbers of new variant infections in Europe.

To date, 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 has not yet been completed. The new variant could be found in other samples,” said the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM).

Portugal

It is tested whether 13 players from the football club Belenenses SAD have been infected with the new variant after a member of their squad traveled to South Africa.

In a press release Monday morning, the National Health Institute (Insa) announced that “preliminary tests strongly suggest that all thirteen cases (…) are related to the worrying variant Omicron”.

Further tests are to be carried out.

Spain

A confirmed case of the Omicron variant was discovered in Spain, a Madrid hospital announced on Monday.

“The microbiology department of the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid has announced the first confirmation of the Omicron variant in Spain,” said the public body on Twitter, adding that it was “a traveler from South Africa” ​​and that he is doing well. ” Well”. .

Sweden

One case was discovered and confirmed by the Swedish National Health Authority on Monday. The person is a returnees from South Africa.

Switzerland

The Swiss health authorities announced on Sunday the discovery of a “first likely case” in a person returning from South Africa.

United Kingdom

As of Saturday, the number of reported cases in England and Scotland rose to 150 after 75 more suspected cases were discovered in England alone.

So far, 29 have been confirmed as Omicron variants by genome sequencing.

The first reported cases in the UK were six people in Scotland who tested positive for the new variant and another three in England, bringing the initial total of cases across the country to nine on Monday morning.

According to Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney, four of the Scottish cases have not been linked to people who have traveled to Africa.

Wei Shen Lim, Chairman of a UK Government Subcommittee on Vaccination, said at a press conference Monday that all adults between the ages of 18 and 34 should now be included in the booster program.


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