The first confirmed cases in Canada.
Two cases of a new COVID-19 variant, recently named Omicron by the World Health Organization, have been confirmed in Ontario.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said in a joint statement that the patients are in isolation and that Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management.
While the statement said that "the best defence against the Omicron variant is stopping it at our border," it also adds that Ontario is "prepared and ready to respond to this new variant."
Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron #COVID19 variant.\n\nThe province is prepared & ready to respond, with the infrastructure in place to test, trace & isolate COVID-19.\n\nIf you need the vaccine or are eligible for a booster, please book today.https://news.ontario.ca/en/statement/1001241/ontario-confirms-first-two-cases-of-omicron-variant\u00a0\u2026— Christine Elliott (@Christine Elliott) 1638139785
The statement adds: "Our hospital and intensive care capacity remain stable and the province continues to report one of the lowest rates of active cases in the country."
Anyone who has travelled to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe this month has been offered free COVID-19 PCR testing, as are their asymptomatic household contacts.
WHO update on Omicron, the new #COVID19 variant of concern: What we know & what we don'thttps://bit.ly/3D33Ezw— World Health Organization (WHO) (@World Health Organization (WHO)) 1638125513
According to the WHO, officials in South Africa first reported the variant on November 24.
Among the reasons why this particular variant is causing concern is that the preliminary information appears to show that there is an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron compared to other variants of concern.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
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