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Omicron variant: a first case confirmed in Spain, in the Madrid region

The health authorities of the region of Madrid said in a statement that the man, 51 years old, had returned to Spain from South Africa on Sunday and presented mild symptoms.


Omicron variant: a first case confirmed in Spain, in the Madrid region
Spaniards over the age of 40 line up to receive a dose of J&J/Janssen's Covid-19 vaccine in Barcelona on Nov. 26, 2021. - LLUIS GENE / AFP -

First case of the Omicron variant in Spain. "The microbiology department of the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid announces the first confirmation of variant Omicron in Spain," announced Monday, November 29, the hospital of the Spanish capital. It is about "a traveler coming from South Africa", said the institution. The health authorities of the region of Madrid said in a statement that the man, aged 51, had returned Sunday from South Africa and presented mild symptoms. 


No panic. "There is reason to be concerned about this new variant, but no reason to panic," Joe Biden said Monday about the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. He called on his fellow citizens to get vaccinated and said he did not anticipate "at this stage" additional restrictions, while the United States has already closed its borders to travelers from eight southern African countries. 


G7 demands "urgent action". Faced with the rapid spread of the "highly transmissible" Omicron variant, the G7 held an emergency meeting of its health ministers in London on Monday. The list of countries where it is detected is growing, especially in Europe, after the first cases were detected in southern Africa in November. 


Flights to repatriate people stranded in Morocco to France. Special flights have been organized to repatriate to France people stranded in Morocco after the closure, on Sunday evening, of air borders due to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19. "They are subject to 'authorization'" of the Moroccan authorities, reported in a tweet the French ambassador, Hélène Le Gal, who invites the people concerned to approach the companies Air France and Transavia. 


Soon more than 10,000 daily infections in South Africa. The country, where the new Omicron variant has been detected, is expected to pass 10,000 daily Covid contaminations by the end of the week, South African epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim warned Monday. "We will see the pressure on hospitals in the next two to three weeks," he said in a Department of Health online press conference. 


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