Ontario Independent

Saturday, December 9, 2023

In GTA two new cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant have been reported

Key takeaways:

  • Two health units in the Toronto area reported the fifth and sixth cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Ontario.
  • Ontario officials verified four more instances of the Omicron type in Ottawa earlier this week. 
  • As per the Halton Public Health, all close contacts have been identified and encouraged to isolate and be tested.

On Thursday, the fifth and sixth instances of the Omicron coronavirus variety in Ontario were reported by two health units in the Toronto area.

The two new cases were discovered in Durham and Halton Counties.

According to Durham Region Public Health, the Omicron-positive person is a close friend who recently returned to Canada from southern Africa.

“The Health Department is also evaluating other COVID-19 cases under investigation for the Omicron variation based on travel history, and we are collaborating with the province to monitor COVID-19 variants of concern, including Delta and Omicron.”

It’s unclear whether the Durham case is linked to the Toronto East Detention Centre epidemic.

Also read: There are 959 new COVID-19 cases and 7 more deaths in Ontario

Durham health officials are examining the Omicron variant case at the Scarborough jail, according to Toronto Public Health (TPH). Durham officials refused to offer any additional information regarding their investigation when asked about the issue, claiming privacy concerns.

TPH stated that a facility employee tested positive for the Omicron strain, triggering the declaration of a COVID-19 outbreak “out of an excess of caution.”

TPH also stated that four convicts tested positive for the virus on Thursday afternoon, although it has yet to be determined whether the infections are of the Omicron variety.

Meanwhile, Halton Public Health stated late Thursday afternoon that it has one confirmed case of the variation and two probable cases.

As per the health unit, one of the probable cases has returned from a trip to Nigeria and is in close contact with the other two. 

At home, all three are separating themselves. According to Halton Public Health, all close contacts have been identified and encouraged to isolate and be tested.

“We continue to constantly watch the situation, and I advise all people to be vigilant given the arrival of the Omicron variant in our town,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, the region’s medical officer of health, in a statement.

Ontario reports two new instances of Omicron COVID-19 variant

“I advise all citizens to continue to follow all public health measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and to acquire their two doses of vaccine as soon as possible.”

Ontario officials verified four more instances of the Omicron type in Ottawa earlier this week. They said almost 400 persons who returned to Ontario from southern Africa were under obligatory self-quarantine in the last two weeks.

The two additional instances are the first confirmed examples of the province’s local transmission of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variation.

According to Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health, there are currently 1,800 people under mandatory self-isolation who recently came to Canada from one of the ten African nations where the Trudeau government has now barred all visitors from entering.

He predicted that additional cases would be discovered in the province soon.

The province is now pushing forward with whole-genome sequencing on all positive COVID-19 samples, and the federal government has approved several new measures to tighten controls on overseas travel.

Moore also stated that the province is proposing changes to the standard PCR COVID-19 test to detect the S-Gene deletion found in the majority of Omicron cases collected.

In early 2021, S-Gene deletion or S-Gene target failure was used to trace the spread of the Alpha (B.1.1.7) coronavirus strain across the province.

Moore stated that the launch of Omicron adds urgency to the province’s ongoing third dose program, which has been decreased to everyone aged 50 and up.

“It took 4 months for Delta to overtake Alpha – we may have a shorter window for Omicron since it is more transmissible,” he said.

He stated that it was “very unknown” if existing vaccines would provide a high level of protection against severe Omicron disease.

“We do not expect a complete loss of vaccine efficacy,” he said.

Source: CP24 News

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