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Covid-19: First case of Omicron variant detected in Spain's Madrid, traveller from South Africa

10:28 PM Nov 29, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Spain became the target of the new Covid variant Omicron after the very first case of the new variant was detected in the country on Monday.

On Monday, the microbiology department at the Gregorio Marañon Hospital in Madrid confirmed the first case detected in Spain so far of the new variant. It was found in a traveller who had arrived from South Africa.

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“We managed to use an ultra-fast procedure that permits us to get the result in the same day,” the hospital’s laboratory explained via its Twitter account. “The patient is doing well,” they added.

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The Health Ministry strengthened controls on all passengers arriving in Spain from the south of Africa: those travelling from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe will have to quarantine for 10 days.

Until now, anyone arriving in Spain from a country with growing infection numbers or where variants of concern are circulating had to show a certificate proving they have been vaccinated or have tested negative.

However, as the new variant emerged and countries started to ban international travels from many southern African nations, Spain's health department has issued guidelines stating that from now on, according to an order published on Saturday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), arrivals “will be required, regardless of their vaccination state or if they have previously had the disease, to present a diagnostic certificate of active Covid-19 infection with a negative result.”

On Monday, another order was issued to put travellers from the aforementioned seven countries in quarantine on arrival in Spain, “with or without intermediate layovers.”

At the same time, hospital laboratories in Spain are actively trying to locate the new variant.

(with inputs from sources)

Also Read: Australian state sticks to reopening plan despite Omicron variant concerns

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