Russia confirms first cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant

Russia has confirmed its first two cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Rospotrebnadzor announced on Monday, December 6.

The cases were detected in two Russian citizens who returned to the country from South Africa. “The Omicron strain was confirmed in two patients with positive PCR tests, obtained on the first day of [their] stay at the observatory as a result of genome sequencing carried out by Rospotrebnadzor’s [Central Research Institute of Epidemiology],” the agency told Interfax. 

Rospotrebnadzor said that ten Russian nationals who returned from South Africa and neighboring countries have tested positive for COVID-19 and are undergoing further testing to confirm the particular strain of the infection. All of the patients are in quarantine at the observatory. 

Since December 2, Russian nationals returning from South Africa and neighboring countries have been required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Earlier, Yaroslavl resident Yulia Demina, reported that she developed a cough and high fever after returning to Moscow from Cape Town on December 4. Allegedly, medical workers told her that she had “presumably” contracted the Omicron variant. There has been no official comment on this case as of yet.

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