Omicron, the newly listed coronavirus variant of concern, is now present in Canada, officials said Sunday, Nov. 28.
The strain was detected in two people arriving from Nigeria, the Ontario government said in a statement, according to Fox News. The patients have been isolated.
After emerging in Southern Africa last week, Omicron sent the rest of the world racing to impose new travel restrictions. In addition to Canada, it has been detected in a dozen other nations, including Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and South Africa.
Placed in the same category with the notorious Delta variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not determined if Omicron is more lethal and more transmissive than the other strains. Yet, nations are concerned that it could be able to resist vaccines.
Canada on Friday imposed travel restrictions on people arriving from the seven Southern African nations that have been seeing outbreaks of the variant.
Meanwhile, as of Sunday, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that it was a matter of time before Omicron arrives in the U.S.
“We all know when you have a virus that has already gone to multiple countries, inevitably it will be here,” Fauci told ABC this Week.
The Biden administration has announced a travel ban concerning non-U.S. citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi, to go into effect by Monday.