Madrid studies another suspected case of the omicron variant

  • This is a woman who has tested positive in Barajas after arriving in Spain from South Africa

  • She is vaccinated with two doses and has mild symptoms

The Community of Madrid is studying another possible case infection of the omicrom variant in Spain. This is a traveler from South Africa, who made a stopover in Amsterdam, and who arrived in the capital on a different flight than the 51-year-old man who returned from South Africa on November 28 and who is the first case detected in Spain of the worrying variant, which has led to the suspension of flights with several African countries by the EU.

As reported by the Ministry of Health, this is a woman who has tested positive both in an antigen test and in a PCR carried out on arrival at Barajas airport, which is vaccinated with two doses and exhibiting mild symptoms. And it is that one of the agreed measures, once South Africa reported the new variant, has been that all travelers from South Africa and several neighboring countries take a test upon arrival and keep a ten-day quarantine.

The Madrid Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, has explained in statements to ‘Onda Cero’ that the laboratory of the Hospital Gregorio Marañón is sequencing the sample of the passenger, but has advanced that “by the clinic” and by its place of origin it is suspected that it could correspond to the new variant.

The first case of omicron in Spain, which was confirmed on Monday, is that of a man who was also vaccinated with the two doses of Pfizer against the coronavirus, and who also presents mild symptoms. Both this man – 51 years old and who returned last Sunday, November 28, from South Africa with a stopover in Amsterdam – and the woman – whose sample is being sequenced – are in isolation under follow-up.

Escudero explained that although the rest of the travelers on the flights tested negative for antigens in Barajas, they will be tested. special follow-up -tudy if they are vaccinated or watch out for symptoms- to detect “as soon as possible” new cases.

In addition, the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat studies other two possible cases, also from travelers from South Africa, who arrived at El Prat Airport. The samples of both are being analyzed at the Bellvitge Hospital.

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The variant B.1.1.529, baptized as omicron, it was identified for the first time in South Africa on November 22 and since then it has come, at least, to 40 countries from various continents. In Europe, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) currently records 33 confirmed cases in eight countries (Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal).

World Health Organization (WHO), which last Friday included the variant B.1.1.529 among the variants of concern (VOC, for its acronym in English), warned this Monday that the risk posed by this new strain is “very high”.

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