Round half of the individuals who attended an workplace Christmas celebration in Oslo, the place solely vaccinated workers had been admitted, have examined constructive for the coronavirus after one visitor not too long ago returned from South Africa was discovered to hold the brand new Omicron variant, native well being authorities mentioned on Friday.
Greater than 120 folks attended the occasion, held every week in the past by a solar energy firm. Of the constructive checks sequenced up to now, between 15 and 20 had been prone to be the Omicron variant, in keeping with Dr. Tine Ravlo, a neighborhood chief doctor concerned in monitoring the outbreak, who added that not all the 60 coronavirus instances discovered up to now had but been absolutely checked for the variant.
“We predict extra of them to probably be Omicron infections,” she mentioned.
A spokesman for the corporate, Scatec, mentioned that solely vaccinated employees had been admitted to the celebration, and everybody had examined detrimental for the coronavirus earlier than the occasion.
The celebration was held at a restaurant referred to as Louise in central Oslo on Nov. 26, the identical day that the World Well being Group labeled Omicron a “variant of concern” and lots of nations began closing their borders to passengers from southern Africa, the place it was first recognized.
The variant carries mutations that scientists say might permit it to unfold extra rapidly and to trigger extra breakthrough infections, although a lot stays unsure. Circumstances have now been reported in additional than 40 nations, including in america.
The Scatec spokesman, Stian Tvede Karlsen, mentioned that the worker first discovered to have the variant had arrived again in Norway from visiting a regional workplace in Cape City earlier than information of the variant had come out.
With the intention to curb additional unfold of the variant, the Norwegian authorities introduced on Thursday extra restrictions in and round Oslo. Enforcement began at midnight.
They embody the duty to put on masks anyplace that social distance can’t be maintained, together with on subways and buses or in outlets; a return to working from dwelling if doable; and a cap on crowds of 100 folks, besides at theaters and different locations with fastened seats, the place as much as 600 could be current. Solely desk service is permitted for alcoholic drinks, and eating places and occasions must register friends.
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Nightclubs, eating places and cinemas in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest metropolis, reopened to vaccinated customers on Friday, greater than 100 days after the town went into lockdown due to an outbreak of the Delta variant. The reopening comes because the nation moved to its new post-vaccination “visitors gentle” classification system, by which unvaccinated individuals are principally shut out of public life.
Officers in South Korea mentioned on Friday that they’d temporarily reverse the phased reopening they began last month, decreasing the cap on group sizes for social gatherings and requiring proof of vaccination or a detrimental coronavirus take a look at for entry to eating places, cafes and different amenities beginning subsequent week. The announcement got here as practically 80 % of the nation’s hospital beds for sufferers with extreme sickness had been in use, and days after six instances of the Omicron variant had been confirmed amongst inbound vacationers.
Eire introduced on Friday new restrictions forward of the Omicron variant’s inevitable arrival, Reuters reported. Beginning Tuesday and till Jan. 9, indoor occasions shall be capped at half capability, bars and eating places can seat tables of solely six folks or fewer, nightclubs will shut and residents can host not more than three different households in their very own houses. The federal government will restart its Pandemic Unemployment Cost program for many who work within the leisure trade and lose work due to the measures.
A pair of hippopotamuses on the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium have examined constructive for the coronavirus, The Related Press reported. Imani, 14, and Hermien, 41, are actually in isolation, and their enclosure shall be shuttered to the general public till the land mammals take a look at detrimental. The instances are the primary recorded cases of the coronavirus within the species. It’s unclear how they bought it.