France reports 8 suspected Omicron Covid-19 cases

A resident talks with a medical staff in front of a fast COVID-19 test screening tent in Paris, France.

Paris, (Asian independent) French Health Ministry has reported eight suspected Omicron Covid-19 cases among passengers who tested positive after their African trips over the past 14 days.

Eight positive Covid-19 cases “with a negative screening for the mutations found in the other variants (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta)” require further confirmation by sequencing, French Health Ministry said on Sunday in a press release, noting that it could take “several days”.

France’s neighbouring countries have already reported confirmed Omicron Covid-19 cases, Xinhua news agency reported.

Speaking to BFMTV Sunday morning, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said that “from the moment it (Omicron) circulated at our neighbours, it is possible that it’s circulating at ours.”

As a preventive measure, France has decided, along with other European Union countries, to suspend flights from seven southern African countries.

It is still not yet clear whether the Omicron variant is more transmissible, or causes more severe disease compared to other variants, including Delta, the World Health Organization said on Sunday.