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Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Canada detects two cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant from travellers from Nigeria

Canadian authority has detected in Ontario first two known cases of Omicron, a new COVID-19 variant of concern.

According to the country’s Health Minister, Christine Elliott, both cases were found in the Ottawa area in people who had recently returned from Nigeria.

She and Chief Medical Officer Kieran Moore say Ottawa Public Health is conducting “case and contact management” and the patients are self-isolating.

“Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which were reported in individuals with recent travel from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation,” the statement said.

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The federal government recently banned visitors from seven countries in southern Africa, but Nigeria is not among them.

Elliott and Moore’s statement urges the federal government to take stronger action at the border, suggesting that everyone be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, not just before leaving for Canada.

The pair say Ontario is testing all eligible positive COVID-19 samples to determine their variant.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible than other variants, or if it causes more severe disease.

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