The first few Covid-19 Omicron variant cases have been reported in South Korea on Dec. 1 after five people were detected to have been infected, AFP reported.
Those infected included a fully vaccinated couple who had visited Nigeria from Nov. 14 to 23.
They had returned to South Korea two days before the variant was officially reported by South Africa.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said they tested positive on Nov. 25, with genetic sequencing tests confirming it was the new variant.
A friend of the couple was reported to also have Omicron.
South Korea imposes quarantine on all travellers
In response to the detection of Omicron in the country, South Korea has imposed a suspension of direct flights to Ethiopia for two weeks.
It also said all travellers entering the country will be tested for the new variant.
All arrivals, South Koreans and foreigners, will have to quarantine for 10 days regardless of their vaccination status from Dec. 3 for two weeks, KDCA said.
The government had already stopped issuing visas and arrivals of non-nationals from eight African countries, and added Nigeria to that list on Dec. 1.
The detection of South Korea’s first Omicron cases came the same day the country reported more than 5,100 new daily infections, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
So far, not much is known about Omnicron.
It could take weeks to find out if Omicron is vaccine-resistant and to what extent.
The World Health Organisation has warned against blanket travel bans, but countries have done so, mostly against southern African nations.
Top photo via Unsplash
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