Multiple Omicron cases detected in New York
Multiple cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in New York, health officials said Thursday, including a man who attended an anime convention in Manhattan in late November and tested positive for the variant when he returned home to Minnesota.
In addition to the conventioneer, health officials said tests showed five other people recently infected with Covid-19 had the variant, the Associated Press reports.
They included a person in the city’s Long Island suburbs who had recently travelled to South Africa, residents of Brooklyn and Queens and another case possibly linked to travel.
“No cause for alarm. We just want to make sure that the public is aware of information when we receive it,” said Governor Kathy Hochul.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the geographic spread of the positive tests suggested the variant was undergoing “community spread” in the city, and wasn’t linked to any one event.
Officials in the city of 8.8 million said they expected it would be only a matter of time before the new variant was reported in the city.
“We should assume there is community spread of the variant in our city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
As comfort over air travel returns, it’s inevitable that new variants like Omicron will spread from country to country and state to state, said professor Danielle Ompad, an epidemiologist at New York University’s School of Global Public Health.
“We shouldn’t panic, but we should be concerned,” she said.
Hi I’m Samantha Lock and welcome to our Friday Covid blog.
I’ll be giving you a rundown of the latest coronavirus updates as they happen.
Let’s start off with the news that multiple cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in New York, health officials said late Thursday, including a man who attended an anime convention in Manhattan in late November and tested positive for the variant when he returned home to Minnesota.
Health officials also said tests showed five other people recently infected with Covid-19 had the variant in the city’s Long Island suburbs as well as Brooklyn and Queens, the Associated Press reports.
Governor Kathy Hochul said the cases were “no cause for alarm” as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the geographic spread of the positive tests suggested the variant was undergoing “community spread” in the city.
- US president Joe Biden announced a new nationwide coronavirus battle plan.
- Scientists believe they may have found the trigger behind the extremely rare blood clot complications stemming from the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
- South African officials say the Omicron variant is fuelling an “exponential” rise in Covid cases across the country. The variant was found to account for three-quarters of all the virus genomes sequenced last month.
- Indonesia tightened border curbs, extended quarantine and will limit movement on strategic toll roads, in a preemptive move to limit the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.
- Sweden warned it could impose new restrictions as soon as next week.
- Germany imposes restrictions on unvaccinated and mandatory Covid vaccinations from February, outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced.
- German health authorities reported the first confirmed case of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the capital Berlin.
- India detected two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant in the southern state of Karnataka.
- Finland detected its first case of the Omicron variant in a person who had travelled from Sweden.
- Greece detected its first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the island of Crete.
- The European Union’s public health agency predicts the Omicron variant could be responsible for more than half of all Covid infections in Europe within a few months.
- Omicron may cause more Covid reinfections, South African health experts say.
- New US rules requiring international air travellers to obtain a negative Covid-19 test within one day of travel will take effect Monday.
- UK drugs watchdog approved new Covid treatment Xevudy.