Eight cases of the Omicron variant detected in France as Canada confirms two cases in people who have recently traveled to Nigeria
The French Ministry of Health said on Sunday it had detected eight possible cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant across the country while Canada confirmed two cases of the new variant.
Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although experts are not yet sure whether it will cause more or less severe Covid-19 compared to other strains.
“They are considered potentially contaminated with the Omicron variant having been in southern Africa for the past 14 days,” the French health ministry said in a statement.
He said further tests were underway to fully confirm that it was Omicron, but the people and those they had been in contact with were now in isolation.
Canada said the cases were reported in two people who recently traveled to Nigeria.
Omicron’s detection has raised global alarms as governments around the world scramble to impose new travel restrictions and markets sell off over fears the variant will withstand vaccinations and upset a nascent economic reopening after a two-year global pandemic.
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Canada on Friday closed its borders to foreign travelers who recently traveled to seven southern African countries in the previous two weeks to help stop the spread of the newly identified variant of Covid-19.
“Today, the province of Ontario confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Ottawa, both of which have been reported in people who have recently traveled from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health is handling cases and contacts and patients are in isolation, ”the statement said.
France is in the middle of a fifth wave of the virus. It recorded more than 31,600 positive cases for Covid-19 on Sunday after having experienced a sharp increase in the number of patients in intensive care the day before.
Health Minister Olivier Veran previously told reporters at a vaccination center in Paris that the government would do everything possible to contain the spread of the new variant.
He said that any contact that a person at risk of a possible case or a confirmed case of the Omicron variant, even vaccinated, should now isolate. These people should be considered “high risk” and quarantined.
Until now, contact cases of an infected person had to be isolated only when they were not fully vaccinated or when they had a weakened immune system.
France has also suspended all flights from southern Africa until at least December 1 and has tightened protocols for people arriving from its neighboring overseas territories of Reunion and Mayotte, the French said. ministry.