"Omicron" - the new mutant of the Corona virus - continued its spread in the world, re-imposing some precautionary measures that some countries recently abandoned with the expansion of receiving vaccinations in them.
While the World Health Organization said that it had not received “any information” regarding possible deaths from Omicron, despite its rapid spread, as it reached 38 countries so far, a study carried unpleasant news for those recovering from HIV infection and the effectiveness of the immunity they acquired against the new mutant.
In England, the number of infections with the new Corona mutant, Omicron, more than doubled.
And the Health Security Agency announced - yesterday, Friday evening, the discovery of 75 more cases of Omicron, bringing the number of known cases of infection in England to 104.
In addition, the number of cases of the new mutant in Scotland reached 29, more than double the number of cases that were known so far, as well as one case was recorded in Wales, while the infection of the mutant has not been proven in Northern Ireland so far.
Agency chief Jenny Harris said that there are cases that are not related to flights coming from abroad, noting that this indicates the transmission of the mutant locally.
And the daily toll of Corona injuries in Britain returned - yesterday evening, Friday - to rise above the level of 50,000 cases per day, for the first time since mid-July last.
In France, the number of infections with the Omicron mutant rose to 12, according to the latest report of the health authorities on Friday evening.
The Public Health Agency, which is tasked with monitoring the development of the pandemic in particular, said on its website that yesterday evening, it had reported 3 new confirmed cases of the mutant Omicron in France.
This brings the number of those confirmed infected with the new mutation in the country to 12.
Prime Minister Jean Castix announced - the day before yesterday, Thursday - that "the fifth wave of the pandemic is strong," stressing that "the situation is worrying."
He said that the Health Defense Council will meet next Monday to discuss "if there is a need to take additional measures."
For his part, the weekly infection rate with corona rose again in Germany, where the German “Robert Koch” Institute for the Control of Infectious and Non-Communicable Diseases announced, on Saturday morning, that the rate of spread of the disease among every 100,000 people within 7 days amounted to 442.7 injuries, compared to 442.1 Injured on Friday.
According to the data, the number of new infections with the Corona virus in Germany that were recorded during the past 24 hours reached 64,510 cases, based on data from local health departments.
The outgoing German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for solidarity in combating the spread of the Corona virus, and again urged citizens to receive vaccination.
"We are in a very dangerous situation in the midst of this fourth wave of the pandemic, and in some parts of our country the situation can only be described as tragic," Merkel said in her latest weekly video message on Saturday.
Merkel urged citizens to take the "treacherous virus seriously".
For its part, the Belgian government decided yesterday, Friday, to tighten restrictions in the country, with the aim of confronting the spread of the Corona virus.
This is the third time that the government has tightened measures within 3 weeks, amid a rise in the number of injuries and hospitalizations across the country.
Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said - in a press conference - that his country recorded the highest total of coronavirus infections in Europe, "for this reason, we have decided to take more stringent measures," and de Croo indicated that a large part of the new measures relate to education and school children.
Under the new decisions, it is mandatory to wear masks for children over the age of 6 when they are in public places, including classrooms.
The Belgian Prime Minister confirmed that the Christmas holidays will start in preschool and primary schools early, starting from December 20, while teachers will receive booster doses.
As for South Africa - the first focus in which the first Omicron infection was announced - official figures showed yesterday, Friday, that the total number of Covid-19 infections exceeded 3 million, with new daily infections rising sharply due to the new mutation.
The prominent South African epidemiologist, Salem Abdel Karim, had expected this week that daily infections in this most affected country on the African continent would increase more than threefold, to reach 10,000 injuries.
Dozens of countries have re-tightened restrictions to counter the rapid spread of the omicron mutant (Getty Images)
Yesterday, Friday, more than 10,000 new injuries were recorded in the last 24 hours.
The government-run National Institute of Infectious Diseases said in its daily update that the rate of increase was "24.3%".
The sharp rise in infections is attributed to the new Omicron mutant, which was first detected by South African scientists on 25 November.
The World Health Organization announced yesterday, Friday, that it had not received any information about deaths likely linked to the new mutant Omicron of the Corona virus, according to what its spokesperson announced in Geneva.
"I have not seen any information that there have been Omicron-related deaths," Christian Lindmeier said during a regular United Nations press conference in Geneva.
He added that as more countries resort to conducting tests to monitor the new mutation, "we will have more infections, and more information, although I hope that there will be no deaths."
The new mutant, classified by the World Health Organization as "alarming", was detected for the first time in South Africa, but since the country's authorities informed the World Health Organization on November 24, Omicron infections have been recorded in 38 countries on all continents.
Although the first infections outside southern Africa are generally linked to people who have traveled to countries in the region, the first cases of local transmission are about to appear in the United States and Australia, for example.
The World Health Organization considers that there is a “high” possibility that “Omicron will spread globally”, although it is so far unaware of many things about it, such as the severity of the infection, the effectiveness of the existing vaccines against it, and the severity of the symptoms it causes.
A new study reports that people who have already been infected with corona appear to have less protection from re-infection with the omicron mutant than previous mutant ones.
And a group of South African scientists began to study the risk of re-infection with Covid-19 with the emergence of the Omicron mutant in the country.
After studying the data of re-infection caused by beta, delta and omicron mutants, the scientists found that previous infections may not protect against omicron as well as they did protect against infection by the previous beta and delta mutant.
"Population-level evidence suggests that the omicron mutant is associated with a significant ability to evade immunity from previous infection," the study authors said.
"In contrast, there is no epidemiological evidence - at the population level - of immune escape associated with beta or delta mutants," they added.Keywords: