Countries on alert due to Omicron
According to the news in Euronews, the omicron variant has increased the measures against Covid-19 all over the world. While some countries have implemented closures, some countries have stepped up vaccination, some countries have imposed travel bans. Country by country status:
The Netherlands, which is experiencing the fifth wave of the epidemic, has been applying full closure since Saturday. All shops, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public and social spaces that do not sell basic necessities in the country were shuttered until at least January 14th.
Switzerland has joined the list of countries that apply restrictions in the public sphere to those who do not have the Covid-19 vaccine. In this context, only those who have been vaccinated or recovered will be able to enter restaurants, cultural areas or other closed places. Special family gatherings were also limited to 10 people.
An extraordinary cabinet meeting was held yesterday in England, which is one of the countries where the Omicron variant spreads most rapidly, and the latest situation was evaluated. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that they are evaluating the data closely and that they will not hesitate to take precautions if necessary, but stated that they do not need this at this stage. While the government is accelerating booster vaccines, scientists warn that these measures should be taken immediately so that the health system does not collapse. Except for the use of masks indoors, social distance, service time restrictions or closure-like measures are not implemented in the country. Only when entering crowded places such as nightclubs and stadiums, it is mandatory to show a health passport or negative test showing vaccination or recovery.
More than 92,000 new cases were detected in the UK yesterday. Approximately 90 percent of the population over the age of 12 had the first dose, 82 percent the second dose, and 50 percent the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine. The cause of death in the death certificate of 170,000 people in the country is listed as Covid-19.
Germany plans to limit people to private meetings from 28 December. In the draft law to allow people with Covid-19 vaccine or disease to gather up to a maximum of 10 people, it will be required to limit the number of entrances to restaurants and similar places and to document the vaccine or recovery. Germany and France have announced that they will not accept travel from the UK unless it is mandatory.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex called for meetings to be kept small and tested if necessary during the Christmas holidays. Castex also stated that the “health passport” will be converted into a “vaccine passport” in the new year, so that they can impose more restrictions on people who are not vaccinated. The Paris Governor’s Office announced that the fireworks show and concerts planned to be held on the Champs-Elysées Boulevard on New Year’s Eve were canceled. The government has called for all other cities to cancel their planned public celebrations for the New Year.
On the other hand, France, which has approved Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11, continues to vaccinate children at high risk since last week.
Bars and restaurants in Ireland have been ordered to close at 8:00 p.m. and limit capacity in public spaces since Friday. In the news reflected in the national press, it is stated that other measures will be on the agenda.
Sweden, which has been applying a different epidemic management by keeping restrictions limited since the beginning of the pandemic, has made it mandatory to present a health passport at events with more than 100 participants since 1 December. The government has stopped testing fully vaccinated people since November 1. On entering the country, people are required to document that they have been fully vaccinated, that the coronavirus result has been negative in the last 72 hours, or that they have gotten sick and recovered.
New Zealand, which has closed its borders to international travel by applying a “0 cases” policy since the beginning of the epidemic, planned to reopen its borders gradually from mid-January. However, the new wave created by the Omicron variant in the world made the government take a step back. The Minister for Combating Covid-19, Chris Hipkins, announced that the plans were postponed to the end of February.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The news that a person who did not receive the Covid-19 vaccine died by contracting the Omicron variant in the state of Texas was confirmed by the authorities. The increasing fear of Omicron in the country triggered concerns again, especially in New York City, which was heavily affected by the first epidemic. Residents of New York, Washington, and other major cities, preparing to go home to their families for the Christmas vacation, formed long queues to get tested for Covid-19.
As of December 22, Israel has included Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the United States, Canada, Italy, Hungary, Portugal and Morocco on the list of countries with a travel ban.
Kuwait has made it mandatory to have a booster vaccination if nine months have passed since the second dose on trips to the country.
In India’s capital, New Delhi, the use of masks and supplemental vaccination are encouraged. More than 200 cases of Omicron have been identified in 12 states in the country.
Singapore’s health minister has announced that tests are being carried out to determine whether a suspected group of Covid-19 cases is caused by Omicron.