Canada reported today that detected its first cases of the new variant of coronavirus, omicron, in two travelers who had recently been to Nigeria.
Both patients are isolated in ottawa while public health authorities are tracking their contacts, federal and Ontario provincial government officials said.
“The Public Health Agency of Canada informed me today that testing and monitoring of COVID-19 cases have confirmed two cases of the worrisome omicron variant in Ontario,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a release.
“As testing and monitoring continues,” he added, “other cases of this variant are expected to be found in Canada.”
The Ontario government confirmed that the two cases were found in the capital, Ottawa.
The World Health Organization has listed omicron as a “variant of concern” and countries around the world are restricting travel from southern Africa, where the new strain was first detected, and taking new precautions.
The WHO says it could take several weeks to know if there are significant changes in the transmissibility and severity of covid cases with the new variant detected.