RAMALLAH, Saturday, November 27, 2021 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Ministry of Health is going to recommend tightening of measures at crossings and borders as part of the effort to prevent the outbreak of the new Corona variant, Omicron, by conducting tests for travelers, today said Health Ministry spokesman Kamal al-Shakhra.
He told WAFA that there is concern that the new variant can spread 500 times faster than the previous variants and that its symptoms could be very serious.
The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution advised the World Health Organization (WHO) to designate the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, named Omicron, in line with naming protocols, as a Variant of Concern.
Shakhra said that tourists coming to Palestine for the Christmas season will be restricted to Bethlehem and Jericho, and that tests will be conducted in hotels and their employees, as well as other places attended by tourists, to make sure the new variant will not spread.
He stressed that no one has tested for the new Omicron variant in Palestine so far, but that in case cases are detected, new health measures will be recommended to contain the pandemic particularly since many countries have already started measures to prevent the spread of the new variant, including a ban on arrival of travelers from Africa where several cases of the variant have been detected.