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More Omicron Cases Pop Up As World Rushes To Learn More

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Travelers wearing protective face masks arrive at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Israel on Sunday approved barring entry to foreign nationals and the use of controversial technology for contact tracing as part of its efforts to clamp down on a new coronavirus variant. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

(AP) — Cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in countries on opposite sides of the world Sunday and many governments rushed to close their borders. That came even as scientists cautioned that it’s not clear if the new variant is more alarming than other versions of the virus.

The variant was identified days ago by researchers in South Africa, and much is still not known about it. But many countries rushed to act, reflecting anxiety about anything that could prolong the pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people.

Israel decided to bar entry to foreigners and Morocco said it would suspend all incoming flights for two weeks. The Netherlands reported 13 omicron cases on Sunday and Australia found two.

 

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