Canada has said it has discovered its first cases of the new Omicron strain of Covid in two people who had traveled recently to Nigeria.
The government of Ontario confirmed on Sunday that the two cases are in the capital, Ottawa.
Federal and Ontario provincial officials disclosed both patients are in isolation while public health authorities trace their possible contacts.
“I was informed today by the Public Health Agency of Canada that testing and monitoring of COVID-19 cases has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of concern in Ontario,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement.
“As the monitoring and testing continue, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada,” he was quoted as saying.
But in reacting to the claims, the Nigerian Government had said that the new COVID-19 variant was not in Nigeria yet.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said in a statement on Sunday that the centre is prioritising sequencing of recently accrued samples from SARS-COV-2 positive travellers from all countries, especially those from countries that have reported the Omicron variant already.