Has Omicron Spread in France?
Amid France's fifth coronavirus wave, the country's health minister said Sunday that the Omicron variant is probably already circulating in the country, despite the government's tight restrictions to contain its spread.
France's health minister said Sunday that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is probably already circulating in the country, despite the government's tight restrictions to contain its spread.
"There is no identification yet, but it's a matter of hours," Olivier Veran told reporters at a vaccination center in Paris.
Omicron is potentially more contagious than other variants, although experts are not sure yet if it has more or less severe symptoms in comparison with other strains.
"Once the variant is circulating in England, in Italy, in Belgium, it is probable that there are already cases in circulation here. We will identify them and (...) we will slow down its spread as much as possible."
A newly discovered #covidvariant in #SouthAfrica has been given the Greek letter #Omicron by #WHO. Given its peculiar number of mutations and a profile that differs from other variations of concern, health professionals are profoundly concerned about the new variant. pic.twitter.com/oeSQSaxtWI— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) November 27, 2021
France is in the midst of a fifth wave of the virus. It recorded more than 37,000 positive cases on Saturday and a sharp rise in the number of patients in intensive care.
The Health Ministry recommended on Saturday the isolation of any contact person - even if vaccinated - at risk of a possible case or a confirmed case of the Omicron variant, in documents sent to establishments and health professionals, AFP reported.
Those people should be considered "high risk" and should be quarantined, the document said.
Until now, the cases that have been in contact with an infected person had to be isolated only when they were not fully vaccinated or when they had weak immune systems.