Kazakhstan imposes new restrictions due to Omicron variant


New restrictions will come into effect in Kazakhstan due to the Omicron variant from December 3. These are mandatory PCR tests and a week-long quarantine, regardless of vaccination, for travellers arriving from countries where cases of the new strain of coronavirus have been detected.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have recently discussed measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic amid the spread of the new variant.

Meanwhile, domestic infectious diseases experts say that there are rather high risks of a new mutated strain of coronavirus ‘Omicron’ coming to Kazakhstan. This variant of COVID-19 can be more dangerous than the ‘Delta’ strain, said Sadvakas Baigabulov, Deputy Head of the Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of Almaty city. Omicron contains 32 mutations, some of which indicate its high resistance to vaccines.

“As previous practice shows, newly detected COVID-19 strains, taking into account mainly the airborne transmission mechanism, inevitably spread from the country of origin to other countries. There are always risks. At the same time, new strains are actively infecting the unvaccinated population. That is why mass vaccination against coronavirus is an important barrier to the spread of the infection. At present, there are no signs of circulation of the Omicron variant in the city of Almaty,” said Sadvakas Baigabulov, Deputy Head, Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Department, Almaty city.

Translation by Assem Zhanmukhanova

Editing by Galiya Khassenkhanova