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New super mutation: Drosten on ZDF "pretty worried" - next Omikron suspected cases in Germany

2021-11-29T04:23:38.226Z

The new Corona variant discovered in South Africa is fueling concerns in Germany. A third Omicron case has now been confirmed. The news ticker.



The new Corona variant discovered in South Africa is fueling concerns in Germany.

A third Omicron case has now been confirmed.

The news ticker.

  • For fear of Omikron: Germany drastically restricts entry from eight countries

    (Update November 28, 11:59 a.m.)

    .

  • Omikron has arrived in Germany

    (update November 28, 1:49 p.m.)

    .

  • Because of the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529, Biontech is examining a possible adaptation of its vaccine

    (update November 26, 2:02 p.m.).

  • Another suspected case of infection with the Omikron variant was reported from Munich

    (update from November 28, 6.47 p.m.).

  • There are also suspected cases of the Omikron variant in Essen and Düsseldorf.

    The number is not yet known

    (update from November 28, 7:02 p.m.).

  • Virologist Drosten is concerned about the new developments and appeals to vaccination

    (update from November 28, 10:31 p.m.).

Update from November 28th, 10:31 pm:

"I'm pretty worried," says virologist Christian Drosten in the ZDF's "heute journal" about the current situation with the Corona virus variant Omikron. Drosten does not want to be fooled by reports of a milder course. He does not see much “substance” in it and it is important for him to investigate and observe the cases that have occurred so far. "Nobody can say what is coming," says Drosten about the spread of Omikron. It must also be analyzed how the virus behaves in Germany, since the conditions are different here. In Germany, more people are vaccinated, but in South Africa there are fewer people who have been vaccinated, but the number of people who have recovered is very high.

"It is better if you are vaccinated, it is even better if you are boosted," said the virologist in an interview.

He sees the key to breaking the fourth wave in the booster vaccinations and in the closing of vaccination gaps.

Coronavirus: Suspected cases of Omicron variants are increasing

Update from November 28, 7:02 p.m.:

After Bavaria and Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia is now also

reporting

suspected cases of the Omikron variant as another state.

The cases occurred in Essen and Düsseldorf.

How many there are specifically, a spokesman for the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Health could not say at the request of the dpa.

This is only possible on Monday.

The country is also tightening its quarantine regulations: "We have already informed the health authorities that quarantine should also be ordered for fully vaccinated people if there was contact with a person with the Omikron variant."

Update from November 28, 6.47 p.m.:

The next suspected case of the new Corona virus variant Omikron has emerged.

The Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety announced that the person who had now tested positive landed in Munich on Friday (November 26th) with a plane from South Africa.

The test by the Max von Pettenkofer Institute showed that it could be the new variant, according to a spokeswoman.

A final confirmation is still pending.

The passenger is in isolation.

Update from November 28, 2:53 p.m

.: Virologist Sandra Ciesek points out that antigen tests also work for the Omikron variant.

"Also important - the antigen tests (3 different ones from Roche, Siemens and Flowflex) are positive and work at Omicron too!" Tweeted Ciesek.

Also important - the antigen tests (3 different from Roche, Siemens and Flowflex) are also positive and work at Omicron!

https://t.co/KPdu3opddI pic.twitter.com/PsfupRQsf1

- Sandra Ciesek (@CiesekSandra) November 28, 2021

Suspected case in Hessen confirmed: Omikron variant detected

Update from November 28, 1:49 p.m

.: A case of the new Coronavirus variant Omikron has been detected in Hesse.

"The sequencing has confirmed the result - the suspected case announced yesterday morning is the Omikron variant," tweeted Hesse's Minister of Social Affairs Kai Klose on Sunday afternoon.

The Ministry of Social Affairs confirmed the information.

Corona in Germany: Moderna is already working on a vaccination against the Omikron variant

Update from November 28, 12:41 p.m

.: The vaccine manufacturer Moderna has been working on a vaccine against the Omikron variant since Thanksgiving. Hundreds of his employees started working on a corresponding adaptation of the corona vaccine after the first publications about the mutant, the head of the pharmaceutical company, Paul Burton, said in a BBC interview on Sunday. Thanksgiving fell on November 25th this year - last Thursday.

It will take a few more weeks to have reliable knowledge about how much the new Corona variant eludes the effect of the current vaccines and whether a new vaccine has to be produced.

If so, he reckons that this could be manufactured on a large scale in early 2022.

Like the Biontech product, the Moderna vaccine is one of the mRNA vaccines whose adaptation to new variants is considered to be relatively feasible.


"It's a virus that looks dangerous," said Burton.

"But I think we now have many tools in our arsenal to combat it, so I am optimistic." Concerning "classified.

Update from November 28, 12:02 p.m

.: "Symptoms are different" - a South Africa doctor observed unusual Covid-19 symptoms of the omicron variant.

She is one of the first doctors in South Africa to sound the alarm about Omikron.

Omikron suspicion in Hesse - person comes from the Rhine-Main area

Update from November 28, 12:34 p.m

.: According to the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs, the suspected case of the newly discovered Omikron coronavirus variant in Hesse is a person from the Rhine-Main area, as reported by the dpa news agency

(see also update from 27 November, 12.20 p.m.)

. The Hessischer Rundfunk had previously reported on it. On Saturday, the authorities announced that virologist Sandra Ciesek had identified several typical features of the virus variant in the case of the returnee from South Africa. The person from South Africa arrived at Frankfurt Airport last Sunday (November 21). The results of the full sequencing are expected on Monday, according to the ministry.

Update from November 28, 11:59 a.m

.: Germany has updated the list of corona risk areas. Due to the spread of the new Omikron coronavirus variant in southern Africa, the federal government is drastically restricting entry from a total of eight countries in the region. South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi and Lesotho will be classified as virus variant areas from this Sunday (November 28th from midnight), as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday.

Airlines are essentially only allowed to carry German citizens or people living in Germany from there to Germany.

But it is not a flight ban.

A two-week quarantine obligation applies to those entering the country - including those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered.

It cannot be shortened by negative tests either. 

  • Botswana

  • Eswatini

  • Lesotho

  • Malawi

  • Mozambique

  • Namibia

  • Zimbabwe

  • South Africa

Omikron also introduced into Germany

Update from November 27, 12.20 p.m.:

The assumptions have come true!

Now the first two cases * of the new Omikron variant of the coronavirus have also been confirmed in Germany.

It concerns the two travelers who arrived in Munich on November 24th on a flight from South Africa, said Bavaria's Health Minister Klaus Holetschek


(CSU) on Saturday.

According to a ministry spokeswoman, those affected are in isolation at home after a positive PCR test.

After reporting on the new variant, which was classified as worrying, both people had "proactively initiated an examination of the variant themselves," it said.

A so-called "VOC-PCR test" finally confirmed the assumption that Omikron was there.

Corona variant Omikron reaches Germany - with travelers returning from South Africa

Update from November 27, 12.20 p.m.:

The experts are likely to have been right again, the new Corona mutation Omikron has now apparently also arrived in Germany.

On Friday evening, "several mutations typical of Omikron were found in a person returning from South Africa," said Hessian Minister of Social Affairs Kai Klose via Twitter.

According to the Green politician, there is a "high level of suspicion", which is why the person concerned is now isolated at home.

More is not yet known, however, as the complete sequencing is still pending.

As the

dpa

reports, the man entered the Frankfurt airport.

New super mutation: Germany enacts new rules - they apply immediately

Update from November 26th, 9.10 p.m.:

Due to the spread of a new coronavirus variant in southern Africa, the federal government is drastically restricting entry from a total of eight countries in the region.

South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi and Lesotho will be classified as virus variant areas from Sunday, as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Friday.

Airlines are essentially only allowed to carry German citizens or people living in Germany from there to Germany.

But it is not a flight ban.

A two-week quarantine obligation applies to those entering the country - including those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered.

It cannot be shortened by negative tests either.


The Federal Ministry of Health pointed out on the RKI website that the responsible health authorities can order quarantine and an examination for a corona infection for travelers from the eight countries with immediate effect.

In addition, travelers from the region would be advised by the Federal Police and other competent authorities "as a precautionary measure to prevent infection in Germany".

The new variant B11529 is now officially called



"Omicron"

according to WHO.



The main feature of the danger so far has been reinfection.

That could be a problem for vaccines.

One more reason for booster vaccinations.

- Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) November 26, 2021

The plane from South Africa lands in Germany on Friday morning - no quarantine

Update from November 26th, 6:27 p.m.: Entries

from South Africa are restricted due to the new mutation in Germany - from Friday night.

But on Friday morning a plane from Cape Town landed in Frankfurt am Main.

The new mutation B.1.1.529 was known for a long time, and Cape Town is in the Western Cape province, which is affected by the second most new infections.

But apparently no special rules apply to passengers.

+

A plane from South Africa is still allowed to land in Frankfurt.

© Jerome Delay / AP / dpa

Health Minister Jens Spahn said at the press conference: "I can only ask these people who have entered the country before the measures come into force to ask them to stay at home, do a test, and observe themselves." Spahn emphasizes that he absolutely wants to prevent the variant from spreading in Germany.

But this may already be too late.

New super mutation: Experts are concerned - "Armed to the teeth"

Update from November 26th, 6:01 pm:

How big is the concern about the new South Africa variant among experts? "The thing is armed to the teeth," says Friedemann Weber, head of the Institute for Virology at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. The virus brings with it a "huge bunch of mutations", with more than 30 in the spike protein alone. Some of the mutations found are already known to weaken the effect of antibodies. However, Weber emphasizes that it is too early to make any statements about the further course of events. "It is quite conceivable that the variant will disappear again."

The Berlin virologist Christian Drosten also sees many unanswered questions.

It is unclear whether the variant is actually more contagious or whether another factor is the reason for the currently observed spread.

"There is currently no evidence of a change in the severity of the disease," said Drosten to the German press agency on Friday.


Experts agree that the variant definitely deserves special attention.

Based on the mutations found, it is quite conceivable that the variant is both very transferrable and also escapes parts of the immune response, says Neher.


RKI boss Wieler: "We are very concerned"

"It does not have any mutations that we do not already know, but we do not yet know the combination of mutations," says Carsten Watzl, Secretary General of the German Society for Immunology (DGfI).

“How this combination works must now be investigated.” Statements about the influence of the variant on the course of the disease are currently not possible.

"We just have too few cases for that at the moment."


"We are actually very worried," said RKI boss Wieler on Friday in Berlin.

It still needs to be investigated whether the increasing number of cases in South Africa is really related to this type of virus.

He very much hopes that the spread of the variant will be strictly limited by travel restrictions.


Lauterbach explains why the South Africa variant is so dangerous

Update from November 26th, 3:48 p.m.:

The new South Africa variant naturally also employs SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach.

"Why is the new variant B11529 so dangerous?

How do you come up with it? ", The politician tweeted and explained:" Because it has almost all mutations of alpha, beta, gamma and delta together. "

Lauterbach continues: “In two weeks you will know the effect of the vaccination.

If the vaccination has to be adjusted, the new vaccine would come in three months. ”At least positive, according to Lauterbach:“ Boosters are likely to work. ”

Why is the new variant B11529 so dangerous?

How do you come to that?

Because it has almost all the mutations of alpha, beta, gamma and delta together.

In 2 weeks you know the effect of the vaccination.

If the vaccination has to be adjusted, the new vaccine will arrive in 3 months. Boosters are likely to work

- Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) November 26, 2021

Update from November 26th,

2:02 p.m.: Biontech is now investigating the new Corona variant B.1.1.529.

"We can understand the concerns of experts and immediately initiated investigations into variant B.1.1.529," the company announced in Mainz on Friday upon request.

Findings can be expected in two weeks at the latest.

Biontech is investigating a new Corona variant

The variant differs significantly from the variants observed so far, since it has additional mutations on the spike protein.

The data from ongoing laboratory tests would provide information on whether an adaptation of the vaccine would be necessary if this variant spreads internationally.

Biontech also announced that, together with US partner Pfizer, preparations had been made months ago to adapt the vaccine within six weeks in the event of a so-called escape variant of the virus and to deliver the first batches within 100 days. For this purpose, clinical studies with “variant-specific vaccines” have been started in order to collect data on safety and tolerability. In the event of an adjustment, these could be presented to the authorities as sample data. An escape variant is a virus variant that defies the effects of the vaccines currently available.

Update from November 26th, 1:52 p.m

.: The World Health Organization (WHO) advises against travel restrictions for the time being because of the new coronavirus

variant

detected in South Africa. The WHO recommends that countries “continue to use a risk-based and scientific approach to imposing travel restrictions,” said WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier at a regular press conference in Geneva on Friday. "There is a warning against the imposition of travel restrictions."

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach sees it completely differently.

Lauterbach insists on closing borders with South Africa.

"New variant B11529 seems to be a real massive breakthrough variant for the first time," he tweeted.

The many mutations speak for development in HIV patients.

"What to do: SA borders tight.

PCR search for N11529.

Booster as soon as possible.

Breakthrough against boosters unlikely. "

New variant B11529 seems to be a real massive breakthrough variant for the first time.

The many mutations speak for development in HIV patients.

What to do: SA borders tight.

PCR search for N11529.

Booster as soon as possible.

Breakthrough against boosters unlikely https://t.co/kXukIEazN9

- Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) November 26, 2021

Update from November 26th, 11.40 a.m.:

A panel of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) will discuss the classification of the new Corona variant B.1.1.529 on Friday afternoon. Among other things, it is about the question of whether the mutant should be classified as a "variant of concern" or as a "variant of interest", according to the UN authority.



However, according to the WHO, it will only be revealed in a few weeks whether B.1.1.529 is actually more contagious or possibly more aggressive than previous variants.

The version of the virus that has appeared in southern Africa has so far been genetically sequenced less than 100 times.

"First analyzes show that this variant has a large number of mutations that need to be examined more closely," the WHO told the German Press Agency in a statement.

According to the definition of the WHO, "worrying variants" are more easily transferable or lead to more severe courses of the respiratory disease Covid-19.

They can also reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, drugs, virus tests or corona measures.

New super mutation has not yet been discovered in Germany

Update from November 26th, 10.55

a.m.: According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the new Corona variant B.1.1.529 found in South Africa has not yet been discovered in Germany. "Until half past ten I don't know that this variant has been found in Europe or Germany so far," said RKI President Lothar Wieler on Friday at the Federal Press Conference in Berlin. At the same time he emphasized: "We are actually very worried."



The acting Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) emphasized that the aim must be to avoid the entry of this variant as much as possible. “That is the last thing we can still need in our current situation, that an additional variant comes into the wave.” Spahn called on all people who have come to Germany from South Africa in the past few days get tested for the virus with a PCR test.

Update from November 26th, 9 a.m.:

Because of the newly emerged variant of the corona virus, the federal government is drastically restricting air traffic with South Africa.

The Federal Ministry of Health announced on Friday that the country will be considered a virus variant area from Saturday night.

“As a result, airlines are only allowed to carry German citizens to Germany.” In addition, all those who have entered would have to be in quarantine for 14 days - even if they are fully vaccinated.

New Corona mutation - Lauterbach and Merkel confidante in greatest concern: "Nothing is worse"

Original message from November 26, 2021:

Berlin - While the corona pandemic in Germany has been picking up speed for weeks, the new corona mutation from South Africa that has now been discovered could once again pour fuel into the fire.

The first nations have already reacted, Great Britain and Israel restrict air traffic with six countries.

And the acting minister of the Chancellery, Helge Braun, expects a quick decision to suspend air traffic with South Africa.

New Corona mutation: "Nothing is worse" - Lauterbach calls for travel restrictions - Braun is concerned

"The scientists are all highly alarmed, that's why we will talk to the Robert Koch Institute about it this morning," said Braun on Friday in the ARD "Morgenmagazin" with a view to variant B.1.1.529.

He himself was also “very worried” about the variant.

In view of the new high in the daily reported new corona infections in Germany, Braun called for an "emergency brake".

In some federal states there is already a threat of overloading the health system.

"The large number of infected people that we currently have in the country also ensure that we will generally end up in a serious stress situation in hospitals," warned the CDU politician.

"It must be very clear: Those who are not vaccinated are fully involved in the pandemic and must therefore reduce their contact as much as possible," said Braun.

The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, who is also being traded as a possible new federal health minister, wrote on Twitter: “We have to buy time.

Nothing is worse than a new variant in a running wave. ”If preliminary data turn out to be correct,“ travel restrictions must be imposed immediately ”.

List of rubric lists: © Screenshot / ZDF / heute journal

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-11-29

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