Rio de Janeiro has the first suspected case of the omicron variant

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Rio de Janeiro has the first suspected case of the omicron variant

The City of Rio confirmed this Wednesday (1st) the first suspected case of the omicron variant in the city. Authorities are investigating whether a woman who arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa, was infected by the new strain, classified as high risk by the WHO (World Health Organization).

The city’s Health Secretary, Daniel Soranz, says that the first Covid-19 test that the woman underwent, when she arrived in the country, on the 21st, was negative. On the 29th, however, she took a new test because of work and the result was positive.

“We collected a new sample last night and sent it to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, which will identify which type of variant was present,” Soranz told TV Globo.

The suspected case in Rio comes a day after Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) announced that the variant was identified in Brazil. The confirmation of the first two cases of the strain in the country was made by the government of São Paulo this Tuesday night (30).

This is a Brazilian couple who live in South Africa, a country where the new strain was identified for the first time, and who were visiting Brazil. The man is 41 years old, and the woman, 37. Both are asymptomatic and isolated in the home of relatives in São Paulo.

This Wednesday, the state confirmed the third case of omicron, this time in a 29-year-old man who came from Ethiopia. He had tested positive for Covid and was isolated in Guarulhos.

The new strain has worried health authorities for presenting multiple mutations that would potentially make it more transmissible.

In the second (29), the WHO highlighted that there are many unknowns about the strain, especially about the real danger it represents. “Given the mutations that could confer the ability to evade an immune response, and give it an advantage in terms of transmissibility, the probability that the omicron will propagate around the world is high,” it said.

The organization’s director urged countries to provide a calm, coordinated and coherent response to the new variant.

“I understand the concern of all countries to protect their citizens,” said Tedros Adhanom. “But I’m also concerned that several member states are implementing general and brutal measures that are neither evidence-based nor effective on their own, and that will only exacerbate inequalities.”

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