Authorities around the world are rushing to contain the new omicron coronavirus variant. There's evidence it's already spreading globally. Germany has detected two cases in Munich among passengers arriving on a flight from South Africa. Researchers say it could be the most contagious form of the virus so far, and it might even be resistant to current vaccinations.
Dozens of countries have shut down air travel from South Africa and neighboring nations including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
It was bad news for at least 60 passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 after flying to Amsterdam from South Africa.
Officials are carrying out further testing to find out if they are infected with the new omicron variant.
The UK has confirmed its first cases and is reintroducing restrictions for travelers until more is known about the strain.
The World Health Organization has called omicron a variant of concern - with scientists still unclear about its potential dangers.
As travelers scramble to leave South Africa, officials there have criticized the world's reaction to the discovery of the new variant. The foreign ministry said it was being punished rather than applauded for detecting Omicron.
Australia, Japan and Canada were among a number of other countries which announced travel restrictions - as the world faces another festive season plagued by pandemic woes.
For more news go to: www.dw.com/en/
Follow DW on social media:
Für Videos in deutscher Sprache besuchen Sie: www.youtube.com/dwdeutsch
#Omicron #Covid19 #SouthAfrica