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Several suspected cases of the Omicron variant in Berlin
There are several suspected cases of the new Omicron variant of the Coronavirus in Berlin.
According to the statement made by a spokesman for the Senate Health Administration on Thursday (02 December 2021), there are two to three suspected Omicron cases, but no final confirmation yet. "It was to be feared that it would only be a matter of time until this new variant also occured in Berlin." If confirmation is available by way of a so-called genome sequencing, the public will be informed, he said.
The newspaper "Berliner Zeitung" previously reported that the Omicron variant was detected in a traveler returning to Berlin from South Africa. A PCR test had confirmed the suspicion on the basis of typical mutations, but the genome sequencing is still pending. The man arrived in Berlin on Monday morning and immediately went into isolation. The Senate Health Administration spokesman would neither confirm nor deny this report.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classified the Omicron variant, which was initially discovered in southern Africa, as "concerning". The EU health authority ECDC speaks of serious concerns that Omicron could significantly reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and increase the risk of reinfection. The exact impact of the variant has not yet been determined.