has confirmed its first two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus
variant, health authorities announced
cases were detected in two Russian citizens who recently returned
from South Africa, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited state
consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying.
Omicron strain was confirmed in two patients with a positive PCR test
obtained on the first day of their stay at the observatory after the
completion of genome-wide sequencing carried out by Rospotrebnadzor’s
Central Research Institute of Epidemiology,” the watchdog was
quoted as saying.
week, Rospotrebnadzor announced that 10 Russians who had recently
returned from South Africa on a specially chartered flight received a
positive PCR test result on arrival. It was not immediately clear if
the two newly detected cases of the Omicron variant were part of that
a bid to prevent the Omicron variant from spreading in the country,
Russia last month banned flights from South Africa, Botswana,
Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Swaziland and
Tanzania, as well as Hong Kong.
citizens returning home from South Africa or neighboring countries
quarantine for 14 days upon arrival from Dec. 2.
Omicron variant, which was first identified by scientists in South
Africa, where it has spread rapidly, has now been detected in over 38
countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Omicron as
a “variant of concern” and said last week that it was likely to
spread internationally. No deaths linked to the new variant have yet
been reported and early data
it may cause less severe illness.
emergence of the highly mutated Omicron variant underlines just how
perilous and precarious our situation is,” WHO head Dr Tedros
a Nov. 29 session of the World Health Assembly.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which helped develop Russia’s
Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine,
week that their jab was effective against the Omicron variant but
that they were also developing an adapted booster. RDIF said it hoped
to supply “billions of doses” of the Sputnik Omicron booster to
the international market by February.