The search for the omicron variant origin of the coronavirus continues. So far, Botswana and South Africa have been the first countries to discover – and report on – the variant.
On Wednesday, Nigerian authorities said they had found Omikron in October. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that retrospective sequencing of cases in travelers to Nigeria identified the variant in a sample taken in October. Details are not mentioned.
The NCDC’s announcement comes ahead of a meeting between South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, 69, and his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari, 78, in Abuja on Wednesday, where the omicron variant issue is likely to be discussed.
Several countries have imposed travel restrictions on countries in South Africa where the alternative was first reported. Ramaphosa thinks this is unjustified and says it is a disgrace to developing countries.
Early cases are also in Botswana
The first cases in Botswana date back to early November. On November 26, the Botswana government announced that the new alternative “has been demonstrated in four foreign nationals”. This arrived on November 7. They are foreign diplomats. No nationalities were named.
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The first positive omicron cases in mid-November
As a result, South Africa also warned on November 26 that the Omikron variant had been detected for the first time. These samples were taken between 14 and 16 November.
The delay between the first confirmed infection with an omicron and the date of the first report is related to the process of sequencing the viral genome and identifying its mutations.
As scientists from South Africa have shared the variant’s genome with health authorities around the world, other countries can also use the tests to identify the virus in previous samples.
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Omikron on November 19 in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, the Omikron variant was then detected in two test samples taken on November 19 and 23. That national reports Institute of Public Health (RIVM). Regarding cases in the Netherlands, the association said: “It is not yet clear whether these people have visited South Africa.”
A total of nine infections in Scotland raise more questions. The Omikron variant cases return to ‘One Special Event’ on November 20. Scottish Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced this to Parliament in her weekly Covid update.
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Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney (57) later said that the first transmissions could be expected within Scotland. There is also one case in Germany that cannot be traced back to trips abroad or contact with people who have been abroad.
The first case known in Europe, which according to consistent media reports can be traced back to an unvaccinated woman from Belgium, did not come from South Africa. She was returning from Egypt. These cases indicate the spread of the virus for a long time. The origin of Omikron is still unknown. (euc/gf)
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