- The first cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 infection have been reported in Canada, with two infections in Ottawa, the country’s capital.
- Canada banned foreign nationals from seven southern African countries from entering the country on Friday.
However, the two cases found were unrelated to those countries. “The province of Ontario has confirmed 2 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the city of Ottawa today. Both of which have been announced in people who have recently returned from Nigeria “In a statement issued on Sunday, Christine Elliott, deputy premier of Ontario and minister of health, and Dr. Kieran Moore, chief medical officer of health, said
Ottawa Public Health is handling the case and contact management, and the patients are being isolated.”
Ontario has asked the federal government to mandate “point-of-arrival testing for all travelers, regardless of origin.”
South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia were included in the ban, announced on Friday and will be in effect until January 31 of next year. Some travelers, including Canadian citizens and permanent residents, were exempt.
Authorities in Canada have warned that more cases may be discovered in the future. “As the monitoring and testing with provinces and territories continues, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada,” said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos.
The government also warned Canadians not to travel outside the country, noting that “restrictions are changing quickly and may be imposed by countries with little warning, disrupting travel plans.” As a result, individuals who choose to travel outside of Canada may be forced to stay outside of Canada for a more extended period than expected.”
The variant, it said, was more transmissible than others earlier, but “evidence is limited at this time.” It went on to say that border controls have been put in place and that an international effort is underway to “understand the potential implications in terms of transmission, clinical presentation, and vaccine efficacy.”
Source: Hindustan Times
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