Friday, November 26, 2021

Global Alert - New Corona Variant

Last Update (November 27/28):
- Israel closes its borders to all foreign visitors for a period of two weeks says prime minister.
- Germany restricted air traffic coming from further African destinations like Botswana, Lesotho,
Malawi and Zimbabwe, countries situated in the neighbourhood of the South African Republic,
after the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 was found in air passengers who recently entered
Germany. Only German citizens and other permanent residents are allowed to enter and are
subject to quarantine.
- Measures are intended to provide further time for national health authorities to evaluate the
dangers of the omicron variant and possible counter measures.
- Zhang Wenhong 张文宏, a high-ranking expert for infectious diseases and connected with
the Communist Party of China confirmed the necessity of an observation period of two weeks
for a comprising evaluation of the corona variant. He shows himself convinced that China can
cope with the omicron virus strain. PR China and Hong Kong already detected omicron infected
persons on their territories.

- News on the spotting of the omicron variant in covid infected travellers from South Africa are
developing in different European countries like Great Britain, Italy, the Czech Republic and the

The original article was
continuously updated on
the day of publishing:

A brandnew fast-spreading variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in South Africa. Researchers are racing to determine whether it poses a threat to COVID vaccines’ effectiveness.

An expert group of World Health Organization (WHO) is meeting today on the subject. It already labelled the strain — currently known as B.1.1.529 — as a 'variant of concern' and named it 'omicron' according to the Greek naming system for coronavirus variants.

Researchers spotted B.1.1.529 in genome-sequencing data from Botswana. The variant stood out because it contains more than 30 changes to the spike protein — the SARS-CoV-2 protein that recognizes host cells and is the main target of the body’s immune responses. Many of the changes have been found in variants such as δ (Delta) and α (Alpha) and are linked to heightened infectivity and the ability to evade infection-blocking antibodies.

But the variant’s apparent sharp rise in South Africa’s Gauteng province — home to Johannesburg — is also setting off alarm bells. Cases increased rapidly in the province in November, particularly in schools and among young people.

The variant harbours a spike mutation that allows it to be detected by genotyping tests that deliver results much more rapidly than genome sequencing.

German authorities immediately declared South Africa a 'COVID variant region' and ordered restrictions on air traffic between both countries starting tonight. This comes at a time when infection rates in Germany are peaking, due to a lack of acceptance of the prescribed corona vaccinations and other protective measures within a population group which is resistant to advice. Public vaccination centers became deserted after a 65% vaccination rate had been reached and were subsequently closed in September. In November the situation changed dramatically. As intensive care beds are now running out at some hospitals in Southern Germany, German Air Force prepares to provide transport capacities in order to transfer critical cases of covid-19 to Northern German locations.

European Union (EU) authorities triggered off a general alert for its member nations. A first case of infection with the new covid variant has already been detected in Belgium.

Israel is known for having put on traffic restrictions to some African regions much earlier. A Chinese source referring to Taiwan health authorities just reported: (The new variant) is expected to become the next wave of mainstream virus strains in South Africa .....預估可能成為下一波南非主流病毒株

Additional News on COVID Research:

A new protein vaccin, developed at the University of Tübingen (Germany), should enable an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 on the basis of detecting certain characteristic protein snippets of the corona virus. The spike protein itself, and which is being targeted by other vaccins, would not play a role in the detection of the virus and the generation of an immune response. Changes to that protein will therefore have no consequences for the vaccin's effectiveness. The protein vaccin has been developed for a group of patients already suffering from immune deficiency and is intended to be applied to certain cancer patients. However, compulsory evaluation of experimental data could take some further time.

The evaluation of an Israeli health insurer on the efficiency of vaccination has been quoted by British and German medical journals. The data are indicating that the risk of re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 increases earlier than previously assumed after a full vaccination just 90 days after the second dose of the mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (BioNTech-Pfizer).

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