The Community of Madrid has confirmed this Monday the first case of coronavirus of the Omicron variant in Spain. This is a 51-year-old man who returned from South Africa this Sunday with a stopover in Amsterdam and has mild symptoms of the disease. Currently, it is already in isolation to reduce the risk of contagion.
The microbiology service of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid has confirmed by sequencing the presence of the B.1.1.529 variant of the virus, which has a “high number of mutations” and was first identified in South Africa.
Detected in an airport screening
The positive traveler for COVID-19 was detected by screening with antigen test at the airport Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas. As reported by the regional government, now the General Directorate of Public Health maintains epidemiological surveillance of the close contacts of the flight that landed in the capital from the Netherlands.
Despite the restrictions imposed by governments around the world on arrivals from the African country and other surrounding nations, the first cases in Europe, America, Asia and Oceania. Earlier, this Monday, Portugal reported the first 13 positives in the Iberian Peninsula.
Spain requires a negative test of coronavirus to all travelers from South Africa and other high-risk countries, carried out a maximum of 72 hours before boarding and regardless of whether they are vaccinated. The measure also applies to passengers arriving from Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, as ordered this Saturday by the Ministry of Health.
The World Health Organization has warned this Monday that the risk of the variant spreading around the world is “high”. Meanwhile, researchers are working to clarify whether this new version of the coronavirus is resistant to vaccines or more contagious, as the mutations present in its genome suggest. However, scientists have warned that it is still too early to know the risks.
At the moment, most of the cases described in South Africa present “mild” symptoms, but the country’s health authorities have recalled that the outbreaks have occurred in young people, who have less risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
Catalonia studies two possible cases of omicron
Catalonia is studying two possible cases of the omicron variant in two travelers who have tested positive for coronavirus in antigen test upon arrival at Barcelona-El Prat airport from South Africa, via Germany.
The Minister of Health of the Generalitat, Josep Maria Argimon, has indicated that the samples to analyze them and know if it really is the omicron variant. He has indicated this after the meeting of the COVID-19 delegate commission.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.