Australia confirms two cases of 'Omicron' coronavirus variant
Australian health officials on Sunday confirmed two cases of the new 'Omicron' coronavirus strain in the country for the first time.
Sydney, [Australia]: Australian health officials on Sunday confirmed two cases of the new 'Omicron' coronavirus strain in the country for the first time.
According to Kyodo News, the state of New South Wales reported two cases of the new 'Omicron' variant. The state government said it had confirmed that two travellers who arrived in Sydney on Saturday from Southern Africa were infected with the variant, Kyodo News reported.
The travellers were both vaccinated and had no symptoms, the state government said.
Earlier on Saturday, the United Kingdom had also reported the first two cases of the Omicron variant. The new Omicron variant, which has been detected first in South Africa, has escalated tensions across the world as it is considered more dangerous than the delta variant. It has been declared as a 'variant of concern' by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.
WHO identified the new South African strain as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations -- 32 -- which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet. Following the reports about the new variant, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Israel, Australia and other countries have restricted travel from several southern African nations over the health concerns. (ANI)