According to the Canadian government, the first cases of the emergent Omicron variant have been found in North America among recent travellers from Nigeria.
“Two individuals in Ottawa tested positive for the COVID-19 Omicron variant with recent travel from Nigeria,” the Ontario government announced in a statement on Sunday.
Individuals who contracted the virus are currently self-isolating while Ottawa Public Health authorities monitor their cases and contacts.
Even if completely vaccinated, anyone who visited Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Namibia in the previous 14 days should seek testing and self-isolate promptly, according to the Canadian government.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated Omicron, which was initially detected in Botswana, as a “variant of concern,” raising global political anxiety.
Despite the fact that health experts and the World Health Organization warned that it was still unclear whether this latest strain of the virus posed a greater threat than other strains, Canada quickly joined a growing list of countries that have imposed travel restrictions on flights from South Africa and neighbouring countries.
Israel, Hong Kong, and a number of European countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany, have all been shown to have the Omicron variant.
Health experts believe it will take at least a few more weeks for scientists to ascertain if the adаptаtion is more contagious, virulent, capable of causing major sickness, or able to evаde vaccines.