Canada Confirms First Cases of Omicron Variant Linked to Nigeria Travel

Canada Confirms First Cases of Omicron Variant Linked to Nigeria Travel

Canadian officials announced that the Omicron variant has crossed its borders with two cases appearing in Ontario.

Ontario health officials released that two people who had recently been in Nigeria have tested positive for the variant. Health officials are now doing their due diligence to conduct contact tracing to aid in lessening the possible spread of this variant. 

This follows the recent news of the coronavirus being found in Europe over the past few days, the variant which comes from Southern Africa has reached North America. Ontario will now require rapid Covid-19 testing on travelers who have been to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

Whilst the variant has not been detected yet within the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was recently quoted in saying that the variant may well be here in the U.S.

Top Ontario health officials Christine Elliott and Kieran Moore along with Dr. Anthony Fauci are now expressing extreme caution as this variant has proven that it is highly transmissible. 

The spread of the omicron variant prompted Israel and Morocco to close its borders to all travelers and Japan became the latest country to ban all foreign travelers.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the variant B.1.1.529, named Omicron has been designated a Variant of Concern, more details of their announcement can be found here.

As such, the WHO has stressed the need for all countries to accelerate their vaccination efforts as well as to strengthen efforts on the local level in terms of surveillance and field investigations.