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WORLD WATCH: New COVID variant ‘of concern’ found in South Africa

“The variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,” said the WHO in a statement.




The World Health Organization (WHO) says a new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa is one “of concern” as some countries have now restricted travellers arriving from the African region.

The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE), an independent body of experts that monitor and evaluate the evolution of the virus, was tapped by the WHO on Friday to assess the new variant – B.1.1.529.

According to the WHO, the variant, now named Omicron, was first reported from South Africa on Wednesday although the first known confirmed infection was from a specimen collected November 9.

“The variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,” said the WHO in a statement.

“Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other variants of concern (VOCs).”

Reports from the WHO say the number of cases of Omicron are on the rise, however, only a few dozen infections have been reported so far in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

Although there is no evidence yet proving the variant is more lethal, transmissible, or resistant to the current COVID-19 vaccines, nations around the world have begun to restrict travellers arriving from countries in southern Africa and other affected areas.

“All air travel to these countries should be suspended until we have a clear understanding about the danger posed by this new variant,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s executive arm, said in a statement.

“And travellers returning from this region should respect strict quarantine rules.”

Both the United States and Canada have announced restrictions on travellers arriving from affected areas in southern Africa along with more than a dozen other countries.

Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told reporters at a news conference on Friday the country is implementing five measures to “protect the health and safety of Canadians” as concerns rise over the variant:

  • All foreign nationals who have travelled through South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini or Mozambique in the last 14 days will be barred from entering Canada.
  • Those who have arrived in Canada in the past 14 days from those countries are being asked to quarantine immediately until they get a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to return home from these countries, but they will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and wait for results at a hotel. If the test is negative, they would be released to quarantine for 14 days at home and must take another test on the eighth day of quarantine.
  • Global Affairs Canada is issuing a travel advisory asking Canadians not to travel to southern Africa for now.
  • Canadians returning from that region will need to be tested in the last country they transited through before returning home (there are currently no direct flights between that region and Canada).

Bahrain, Belgium, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, the Phillippines and Singapore governments have all restricted flights from South Africa.

The New York Times reported stocks around the world took a tumble Friday as markets were spooked by the news of the variant.

Countries in Europe were the first to announce travel bans on Friday as Europeans deal with growing cases of breakthrough infections and surging case numbers.

The WHO says TAG-VE will continue to evaluate Omicron and will continue to communicate any new findings.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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  1. Leslie Solar

    November 28, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    This is such incredible BullS****. I am sure they sit around a table and just make this idiotic shit up, and laugh about it.

    If you travelled through X, y, z, you are barred from Canada. But If you were in X, y, or z, and came through another country, you need to quarantine for Oh, lets throw a dart–14.2 days. But you then need to take a test after 7.6 days, even if you have no symptoms. But if you are “fully” vaccinated, you can go wherever you please, even if you have a fever and are coughing up a lung. And if your 19th cousin twice removed has been to China and knows where the Wuhan lab is, you win the grand prize of a signed card of a Pokemon bearing the resemblance of Tony Fauci.

    If these malevolent clowns had the slightest concern about the welfare of those on the planet, all they have to do is get the F out of the way and let the doctors treat Canadians with the concern and skill they always have, and we can all get back to normal. This is beyond a sick joke.

  2. Left Coast

    November 27, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek Alphabet . . .

    Ever wonder why they skipped the 14th letter?

    [ zahy, sahy; Greek ksee ]SHOW IPA

    the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet (Ξ, ξ).
    the group of consonant sounds represented by this letter.

    That is delicious irony . . . the Wuhan Virus variant should have been named Xi ! ! !

  3. K

    November 27, 2021 at 9:29 am

    @MARS HILL Bingo! The first thing I did when I found the ridiculous name was put it in an anagram search. They’re taunting us.

  4. Mars Hill

    November 27, 2021 at 12:40 am

    omicron is an anagram for MORONIC – that about sums up everything

  5. Mars Hill

    November 27, 2021 at 12:15 am

    This really is getting silly….I try to respect other people in their efforts to live life as they see fit, but this covid thing is really pushing my intellectual/emotional limits, I’m starting to see the covid crowd as not now being sheep but just being plain stupid. I really don’t like thinking like that, but in being honest with myself it appears that’s how I now see or realize my reality. Now I have to be alert and on my best behaviour or bad things could happen. Even though people may be stupid about this, their still people and I believe intrinsically good, Jesus died for them as well as me.

  6. Frank Jack

    November 26, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Alberta by 2040:

    “After this latest round of boosters, we can go back to normal”

  7. Barbara

    November 26, 2021 at 7:24 pm

  8. Left Coast

    November 26, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    Anyone who is Un-Vaxed and has Natural Immunity has nothing to fear . . . the Variant will likely be 80% of Covid like other Variants, so your Natural Immunity to Covid will recognize what it is.

    Not so for the VAXED . . . the VAX is already having trouble with Delta, this will likely be just as bad. More Boosters will solve it . . . lol

    Breaking News . . . . WHO Finally Admits Flu Is DEADLIER Than COVID19
    Published on November 26, 2021

    Written by Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

    Today, I read that the World Health Organisation has warned that there could be half a million covid related deaths by the spring. Which means that covid is now less of a threat than one of those old-fashioned flu bugs.

    Hello, as I speak it’s the 24th November 2021. The WHO’s own figures show that up to 650,000 people can die of the flu in a single flu season. That, you may remember, is the figure I quoted in March 2020 when I showed that the threat of a pandemic was a hoax.

    The teams of mathematical modellers advising the Government will be able to assure them that 500,000 is a smaller number than 650,000.

    So, since the WHO’s figure of half a million includes covid-related deaths, and presumably includes a fraction of all those people who are dying on waiting lists then we can forget all about covid and get on with our lives.

    But, of course, we won’t be allowed to get on with our lives.

    The fraud continues. This is a politically motivated crisis – not a medical one. We’re into the Endgame – but there is a long way to go.


  9. Clash

    November 26, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    The vaccine is not allowing Herd Immunity to occur. It is only stopping the symptoms but creating a massive VIRAL RESERVOIR in the vaccinated. Deana Hinshaw should know this, it is virology 101. But Deanna is actually a Communist Bureaucrat who is following the globalist agenda. Pull heer passport so she can’t leave until after she faces the courts. Donate to the JCCF! They are our only chance for justice.

  10. berta baby

    November 26, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Who cares … oh wait it’s more deadly to kids how convenient that they just approved the Pfizer shot. I love injecting shit that’s only been in existence for 3 months yet assholes say is completely safe into my children.

    Fuck you

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Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.




Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.




The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.




SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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