- Ontario health officials have confirmed multiple cases of Omicron COVID-19-related concerns.
- There are also 15 other recent travelers from southern Africa in Ottawa who are being isolated and monitored for symptoms.
Ontario health officials have confirmed multiple instances of the Omicron COVID-19 variety of concerns, triggering a new set of travel restrictions around the world, mostly prohibiting flights from southern Africa.
Ontario was the first to confirm on Sunday that two cases of the Omicron strain had been discovered in Ottawa in recent Nigerian visitors.
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, announced Monday evening that two more travelers had tested positive for the new strain of the disease, subsequently verifying that they, too, had just traveled from Nigeria.
She claims that all four people traveled independently and are now self-contained.
There are also 15 other recent travelers from southern Africa in Ottawa who are being isolated and monitored for symptoms. Still, Etches said there are no other suspected Omicron cases awaiting sequencing in the city.
Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said Monday that two more cases of the variation are being investigated in the Hamilton region.
Later in the day, Michelle Baird, Hamilton’s director of epidemiology, wellness, and infectious disease, said the city’s two possible cases were being tested for the variant since they were in recent visitors from South Africa, where the strain was initially discovered.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the World Health Organization has designated the Omicron variation as the fifth variant of concern.
When those two cases in Ottawa first came to Canada, Moore said they were tested for the virus in Montreal. On Monday, Quebec verified a case in a recent Nigerian passenger.
Moore added that public health units are also offering to test to 375 persons who have returned from countries declared to be at high risk for the variation by the federal government.
He added that the province would like to test all returning visitors, not just those from the seven southern African countries.
Moore advised Ontarians to “stay cool,” adding that he doesn’t believe any limitations should be rolled back at this time.
He believes that if Omicron is “less harmful,” it will have a smaller impact on the healthcare system in the province. The new version could be more contagious, but doctors aren’t sure how serious the Omicron COVID-19 strain is.
Moore believes the province will make an announcement about vaccinations and expanding third-dose availability later this week. One of the additional tactics the province may implement to combat the new variety would be an “accelerated third dose plan.”
Officials from the Ministry of Health are urging Ontarians to continue to restrict social interaction, especially as the holiday season approaches. Officials are detecting a lot of transmission through social media, according to Moore.
The Omicron variation has already been discovered in the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Source: Global News
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