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COVID-19: Canada detects first Omicron cases in 2 Nigerian travellers

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Leshi Adebayo

Canadian authorities have detected the country’s first cases of new Omicron strain of COVID-19 in 2 Nigerian travellers.

According to the government of Ontario, the two patients visited Nigeria recently and both cases were discovered in Ottawa, the country’s capital.

This is coming days after the new Omicron strain of COVID-19 was detected and identified in South Africa and confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a ‘variant of concern’.

However, Federal and Ontario provincial officials stated that the two patients are in isolation as public health authorities trace their possible contacts.

In a statement on Sunday, Health Minister, Jyen-Yves Duclos said, “I was informed today by the Public Health Agency of Canada that testing and monitoring of Covid-19 cases has variant of concern in Ontario.

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

As a result, necessary measures have been taken by the Canadian government to reduce transmission of the Omicron variant.

Ottawa Public Health has also urged individuals, who have been in Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Namibia, to immediately self-isolate even if they are fully vaccinated within 14 days before arriving in Ottawa.

The World Health Organization (WHO), on the other hand, at the time of the discovery of the Omicron strain in South Africa, had said it could take several weeks to know of there are significant changes in transmissibility, severity, or implications for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.

Meanwhile, it could be recalled that on Friday, Canada already banned travel from 7 African countries of which Nigeria was exempted, over concerns about the spread of the Omicron strain.

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