Omicron Variant Enters in North America as Ontario Reports Two Cases
A joint statement from Ontario’s top health officials, Christine Elliott and Kieran Moore, stated that two recent visitors to Nigeria were found to have the variant.
In order to determine if other individuals in the country were positive, contact tracing was conducted.
According to health officials, their mission is to prevent omicron from entering Canada as much as possible.
“We continue to urge the federal government to take the necessary steps to mandate point-of-arrival testing for all travelers irrespective of where they’re coming from to further protect against the spread of this new variant,” the pair said.
In order to conduct rapid Covid-19 testing, Ontario has focused on travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, the statement said.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested on the NBC hour of “Weekend TODAY” that the variant may have already entered the United States.
“We have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you’re already having travel-related cases that they’ve been noted in Israel and Belgium and in other places — when you have a virus like this, it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over,” he said.
Fauci explained why and how there has been global concern about the variant.
The variant appears to be highly transmissible and immune-evading, and may not be protected by vaccinations or the body’s immune response.
“You don’t want to frighten the American public, but when something occurs that you need to take seriously, you take it seriously, and you do whatever you can to mitigate against that,” he said.
On Sunday, Fauci said that existing vaccines offer “a degree” of safety against the initial Corvid-19 virus.
On Monday, Biden was scheduled to give an update on how the United States was responding to the variant.
Nevertheless, the announcement on Sunday afternoon did not state the discovery of the variant in Ontario.
So far, Israel has closed its borders to travelers on Saturday as a result of the Omicron strain spreading.