Canada confirms two cases of Omicron Covid-19 variant

People get vaccinated at a vaccination clinic at Save Max Sports Center in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

Ottawa, (Asian independent) Two people in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19, according to the Ontario provincial government.

The two people recently travelled to Nigeria.

“Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation,” according to a statement issued by Ontario Health Minister, Christine Elliott and the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Kieran Moore on Sunday.

“The Ontario Covid-19 Genomic Network is continuing to actively monitor for all potential variants circulating in the province, including the Omicron variant, and is conducting genomic sequencing on 100 per cent of eligible Covid-19 positive samples.”

According to the World Health Organization, the variant was reported by South Africa on November 24, with the first confirmed case coming from a specimen collected on November 9, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Friday, several countries, including Canada, announced travel restrictions for southern African countries.

Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement that he has spoken with his provincial counterpart about the new cases.

“This development demonstrates that our monitoring system is working,” he added.

“As the monitoring and testing continue with provinces and territories, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada.”

On Friday, the Canadian government announced it will ban the entry of foreigners who may have travelled through South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini in the past two weeks.