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Canada confirms 2 cases of Omicron Covid-19 variant

2 individuals in the Canada’s capital city of Ottawa have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19, according to the Ontario provincial government.

The 2 persons 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% of eligible Covid-19 positive samples.”

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

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 2 weeks.

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