Omicron variant

Saudi Arabia reports 1st Omicron case coming from North Africa – report

Reuters
Saudi Arabia reports 1st Omicron case coming from North Africa – report

OMICRON. Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words 'Omicron SARS-CoV-2' in this illustration taken on November 27, 2021.

Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

It is the first Omicron variant case reported in the Middle East and North Africa

CAIRO, Egypt – Saudi Arabia confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant coming from a north African country, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday, December 1.

SPA, quoting a statement from the kingdom’s health ministry, said authorities had isolated the person and people who were in contact with them.

It is the first Omicron variant case reported in the Middle East and North Africa. The ministry said the person was a Saudi national who had traveled from a North African country, without giving further details.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday, November 29, that the heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant was likely to spread internationally and poses a very high risk of infection surges that could have “severe consequences” in some places.

The Saudi ministry urged people to complete their vaccination and ordered travelers to respect self-isolation and testing rules.

Omicron was first reported on November 24 in southern Africa, where infections have risen steeply. It has since spread to more than a dozen countries, many of which have imposed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off.

Japan on Monday joined Israel and Morocco in saying it would completely close its borders. – Rappler.com