A DOCTOR who was one of the world’s first people to be infected with the Omicron Covid variant believes he caught it in London, it was reported.
Elad Maor was in the UK for a conference for three days until November 23, around the time the more virulent strain was detected by researchers in South Africa.
The 45-year-old Israeli cardiologist stayed for four nights at a hotel in Islington and experienced symptoms after returning home, then tested positive on November 27.
“I got the Omicron in London, for sure,” he told The Guardian.
“That is interesting because that was 10 days ago in London – really, really early.”
The father-of-three explained he took a PCR test on November 20 after arriving in the UK and again the next day, in accordance with Israeli travel regulations, with both results negative.
When he arrived back in Tel Aviv on November 24, he had a third PCR test, which also came back negative.
He said the only reasonable explanation is that he got infected on the last day of the meeting or possibly at the airport because the third PCR was too early to detect the infection.
Dr Maor is triple vaccinated and said that had he not been, then the outcome could have been worse than the fever, muscle ache and sore throat he’s experienced so far.
“Things could have ended much worse for my family and friends – I am sure that my disease could have been worse if not for the vaccine.”
He added that when he was in London “many of the people on the tube were not wearing masks. I was actually surprised by that”.
Israel closed its borders to all travellers for 14 days at the weekend and Dr Maor is the third citizen of the country to be diagnosed with the Omicron variant.
Israel's Health minister Nitzan Horowitz yesterday said initial indications state that vaccines would shield people from severe infections.
Scientists are currently working around the clock to determine how dangerous Omicron is and more data is set to come out in the following days.
The World Health Organisation has reported that people who have had their coronavirus booster vaccine are protected against the new Omicron variant.
Officials are now desperately trying to stop the spread, with Brits urged to "be vigilant" in order to save Christmas.
Ministers have pledged to remain on the “front foot” in the fight against the super spreading variant, vowing to give millions of Brits their Covid booster jab early.
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