Expert suggests restrictions on overseas travel to prevent spread of Omicron

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NOVOSIBIRSK, November 30. / TASS /. Russian virologist Sergey Netesov, head of the bionanotechnology, microbiology and virology laboratory at Novosibirsk State University (NSU), suggested limiting foreign travel for unvaccinated Russians to prevent the spread of the new strain of coronavirus Omicron in the country. However, he noted that the real danger of the new variant has not yet been understood.

“Israel has halted flights with all countries for two weeks. Of course, that is too much, but in my opinion, considering many countries where the Omicron variant has appeared, I think this is a necessary measure. What you basically need to do is not get people out of the country without having been vaccinated against the coronavirus and register everyone who comes into the country. they are not transporting anything here, because they have already transported everything that was possible, ”Netesov told TASS.

He added that there are serious concerns about the emergence of the Omicron strain. However, its real danger has not yet been assessed, since the number of patients followed is less than a hundred. <...> You better be careful with this new variant, so we’ll worry later that we haven’t stopped this, ”the source concluded.

The new variant of the coronavirus has been registered in South Africa. In the days that followed, cases of infection were recorded in many countries, including several EU states. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated the B.1.1.529 variant discovered in South Africa as a “variant of concern” and assigned it the Greek letter Omicron. This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which alarm the WHO. Several changes in the spike protein at a time can potentially interfere with neutralization of the pathogen by antibodies, which can impact the effectiveness of vaccines.

In addition, according to preliminary reports, the strain has an increased ability to spread. The WHO later announced that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus can lead to epidemics with the most serious consequences. As a precaution, a number of countries have announced an air traffic ban with South Africa and other southern African states.

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