Is the Omicron variant already spreading in France? Named “of concern” by the World Health Organization, this variant has been spotted in several EU countries already such as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. But what about France? “As soon as [the Omicron variant] spreads in Great-Britain, Italy and Belgium, it is likely to be already spreading” in the country, Minister Olivier Véran warned this November 28 in the morning.
On Sunday evening, the Health Minister claimed that eight “likely” cases of the Omicron variant have been found in France. To confirm the news, analyses are underway. “The sequencing of samples from these patients is given priority or being organized to get a diagnose confirmation without undue delay”, the Health General Director explained.
This Tuesday November 30, a first Omicron positive case has been identified in Reunion. This is the first official case in France. The news has been announced by Patrick Mavingui - scientist at the Mixed Research Unit (UMR) "Infectious Processes in Tropical Island Environments", on Réunion la 1ere radio. This first Omicron variant-positive case in France is a "53-year-old man" who stayed in Mozambique and "stopped by South Africa" before heading back to Reunion this past November 19th, the specialist claimed.
Since then, the man and his entourage have been placed into self-isolation. "The man is suffering from muscle pain and fatigue", Mavingui told the radio.
For the record, the Omicron variant has been found for the first time in South Africa. Scientifically named “B.1.1.529”, this new variant worries because it has an “extremely high” number of mutations, according to the South-African scientists who also discovered the Beta variant.
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Faced with the threat, several countries have decided to close their borders, such as Japan, Israel and Morocco.