“We are now vaccinating against the clock,” Karl Lauterbach is certain in a tweet. The news ticker for the new Corona variant Omikron.
- With Omikron *, a new Corona * variant was recently discovered. A biologist has now published an explosive graphic (see first report) .
- The Omikron variant continues to spread: the first case was detected in Thailand, the number of infections has skyrocketed in Denmark (see update from December 6th, 10 a.m.) .
- The first Omikron-Corona cases were also registered in Russia (see update from December 6th, 1:05 p.m.) .
- This news ticker for the Corona variant Omikron is continuously updated.
Update from December 6th, 5:04 pm: The number of Omikron cases registered in Denmark is increasing sharply. As the state health institute SSI announced on Monday afternoon, a total of 261 infections with the variant of the coronavirus have been discovered. These included 73 cases that were detected by whole genome sequencing and 188 infections confirmed by variant PCR tests. You can find a steadily increasing number of Omicron cases in Denmark, wrote the institute. For comparison: the day before, the total value in the daily updated list was 183. Within one day, 78 infections with the new variant were found.
Russia reports the first Omicron cases
Update from December 6, 1:05 p.m.: In Russia, the authorities have detected the first two cases of the novel Omikron variant of the coronavirus. A total of ten returnees from South Africa tested positive, the national authority for consumer protection announced on Monday in Moscow, according to the Interfax news agency. Genome sequencing revealed infections with the Omicron variant in two of them.
President Vladimir Putin instructed the government on Friday to develop a strategy to prevent the new variant from spreading in Russia.
Omicron variant: sudden increase in Denmark – rapid spread in the UK
Update from December 6th, 10am: The first case of the Omikron variant has been detected in Thailand. The infected person is an American citizen who entered the Southeast Asian holiday country from Spain just under a week ago, the Ministry of Health in Bangkok announced on Monday.
Two tests on November 30 and December 3 showed that it was 99 percent certain to be the Omikron variant, according to the authorities. The country reopened its borders to tourists from dozens of countries in early November, including Germany. The fear of the new variant spreading is therefore great.
In Europe, too, the number of confirmed infections with the Omikron variant continues to rise – in Denmark by leaps and bounds. The Danish health authorities announced on Sunday (December 5) that 183 infections with the new variant have now been detected. This means that the number of detected Omicron cases in the country has at least tripled within 48 hours. This development is “worrying”. In the UK, 246 Omicron cases have now been detected (see update from December 5, 6:30 p.m.) .
Omicron spread: Lauterbach wants to “boost as quickly as possible” – Fauci gives hope
Update from December 5, 9:30 p.m.: The new Corona variant Omikron seems to be spreading faster than desired. Scientist and SPD politician Karl Lauterbach stirs fears among Anne Will.
“We have to reckon with the fact that those who have already been vaccinated are at risk, but certainly those who have recovered or have just been vaccinated, or who were vaccinated a long time ago.” He reads the Omikron studies every hour. In Israel and the UK, the variant prevails faster “than we had hoped”. The data are very good. “You can see exactly how the omicron expands in the vaccinated. We have to boost as quickly as possible, because the possibility that Omikron will prevail in the booster is very small. So: boost it as quickly as possible to avoid a lockdown in winter, which I don’t think is likely. “
Update from December 5, 8:30 p.m.: The American immunologist Anthony Fauci announced the first findings on the new Omikron variant to the television station CNN on Sunday. The current assessment suggests that Omikron does not cause a particularly serious Covid-19 disease, said US President Joe Biden’s advisor.
Although the variant seems to have a “transference advantage”, the disease processes observed so far are not difficult. “So far, the signals have been a bit encouraging,” said Fauci. The expert warned that it was still too early to make a final assessment.
The omicron variant of the coronavirus was only discovered in South Africa on November 4th – which does not mean, however, that it originated there.
The number of Omicron cases in the UK rises to 246 on Sunday
Update from December 5, 6:30 p.m.: The number of confirmed Omikron cases increased to 246 in Great Britain on Sunday. The AFP news agency reported on Sunday evening. 86 new cases were reported within 24 hours. The British government had already adjusted the entry rules last week because of the Omikron variant, but tightened them again on Saturday evening. From Tuesday, vaccinated people must also present a negative corona test before entering the United Kingdom – not two days later, as was previously the case *.
According to the EU Disease Control Authority (ECDC) on Sunday, there are now confirmed Omicron infections in 17 countries in the European Economic Area. In Germany there are a total of 15 detected Omikron cases, in Portugal 34, in Norway 19 and in the Netherlands 18.
104 known cases of omicron in England, 29 in Scotland
Update from December 5, 6:18 p.m.: The number of infections with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in England has more than doubled. In the largest British part of the country, 75 more cases with variant B.1.1.529 were found, the health authority Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Friday evening. This means that 104 Omicron cases are now known in England. In addition, there are 29 infections in Scotland – a good twice as many as before. One case is known in Wales, but the variant has not yet been detected in Northern Ireland.
There are now cases with no connection to foreign travel, said UKHSA boss Jenny Harries. This indicates local transmissions. Harries called on the population to comply with hygiene measures, to isolate themselves immediately in the event of infection and to get a vaccination or booster dose as soon as possible.
“We are now vaccinating against time”: Lauterbach shares the bitter Omicron prognosis
Update from December 5th, 5:38 pm: “We are now vaccinating against time”, with these words Karl Lauterbach warns of the further spread of the Omikron variant. The SPD politician spread the assessment of a British statistician via Twitter. According to this, the proportion of the Omikron variant in the United Kingdom could double “every three days” – despite the enormously high vaccination rate there. “Such a spread, without an example, is not easy to stop,” says Lauterbach.
Update from December 5, 5:21 p.m .: The Omikron variant continues to spread in Scandinavia. In Denmark the number of confirmed cases has jumped to 183. In addition, a Christmas party in Oslo, Norway is increasingly becoming a superspreader event *. There are already 120 positive tests in a restaurant after the party. More than half of them are said to be the Omikron variant.
Omikron variant probably older than Delta
Update from December 5, 3:39 p.m .: Early forms of the Omikron variant have probably been around for a much longer time than previously assumed *. According to the German co-discoverer of the mutant, Omikron had “developed as a separate virus type before the emergence of alpha and delta,” said Wolfgang Preiser.
Omikron then probably developed further over many months without being noticed. “The question is: Why did Omikron stay hidden for so long and only start now? Are there still one or two mutations missing to be able to spread quickly? ”The oldest known evidence of the variant comes from the first half of November.
In Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute, four cases of the Omikron variant had been confirmed by genome sequencing by Wednesday – all of them returning from South Africa. In eight other cases in Germany there is a suspicion of the variant. However, experts assume an occurrence that goes beyond this.
Update from December 5, 3:04 p.m .: Despite his concern about the Omikron variant (see first report), Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also tweeted good news on the subject this weekend. “Two things to be confident on the 2nd Advent,” wrote the epidemiologist on Sunday. “Omikron can be identified with rapid tests. A severe course can almost certainly be avoided with a booster vaccination. So we are on the right track. Even if Omicron comes. “
Omikron in Denmark: authorities report sharp increase
Update from December 5, 2:58 p.m .: In Denmark, the number of confirmed infections with the new Omikron coronavirus variant has skyrocketed to more than 180 cases. The Danish health authorities announced on Sunday that 183 infections with the variant first identified in South Africa have been detected. The EU country recently expanded its corona protective measures because of the possibly particularly contagious virus variant.
Biologist publishes graphic for Omikron: “Then there would be an increase beyond what we have seen so far”
First report from December 5th : Berlin – In addition to virologists and epidemiologists, modelers are also concerned with the current pandemic *. One of them is Trevor Bedford, who works at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. On his list, of course, the new Corona mutation Omikron * – and he himself on Karl Lauterbach’s Twitter list.
So far, there is little reliable knowledge about Omikron, and the SPD * health expert had also warned against jumping to conclusions. On Saturday he thought of Bedford with a retweet. The biologist Bedford thinks it is conceivable that Omikron could circumvent the immunization against previous variants * – depending on the scenario – to a considerable extent. One speaks of an “escape variant” or immune escape variant.
Lauterbach commented on Bedford’s graphic with regard to the vaccination rate of less than 70 percent in Germany: “This is how it could work with Omikron. If 30 percent of the population were not vaccinated or inadequately vaccinated when Omikron came, there would be a dramatic increase in cases beyond what we have seen before. So we are now vaccinating against time. “
This is how it could work with Omicron. If 30% of the population were not vaccinated or inadequately vaccinated when Omicron came there would be a dramatic increase in cases beyond what we have seen before. So we are now vaccinating against time. https://t.co/KGfYn9mvLs
– Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) December 5, 2021
US modeler on Corona: Omikron also a risk for vaccinated people?
The base reproduction number R0, which Bedford mentions in his tweet, refers to the average number of people infected by an infected person. In an interview with the US news portal Vox , the scientist recently emphasized that the portability of Omikron is also a major factor. Assuming it turns out to be high, that would be a problem especially for the unvaccinated.
“However, it is also possible that Omikron has a low infectiousness, but a high immune escape.” That would then also be a risk for those who have been vaccinated. “Then Omikron-coordinated booster vaccinations * would be necessary.”
Lauterbach on Omikron: “Briefly break the delta wave”
Large manufacturers like Biontech * therefore want to modify their corona vaccines. “The proportion of reinfected people at Omikron is more than twice as high as with the Delta variant and is increasing,” Lauterbach tweeted at the weekend.
And: “It is good that the vaccines are being adapted. But the massive delta wave has to be broken in the short term. We already have the vaccines for it. “
Current figures on the Delta variant from Germany and England
The British health authority announced on Friday (December 3rd) that so far more than half of the Omicron infections registered there concerned those who had been vaccinated: of the 22 so far confirmed infected, twelve had received at least two corona vaccinations.
However, it cannot be concluded from these figures that vaccinated people have a similarly high risk of becoming infected with Omikron as unvaccinated people. The more people in the population are vaccinated, the more people who are vaccinated are proportionally also among the infected – even if the percentage of those who are infected is very low.
Even among those infected with the currently dominant delta variant, the proportion of those who were vaccinated in infections in Great Britain or Germany has now risen higher and higher – because the majority of people in these countries are vaccinated. In both countries, almost 70 percent of people have received at least two doses of the vaccine. (frs with material from dpa and AFP) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA