Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The first reported cases of the omicron coronavirus strain in Canada

Key takeaways:

  • According to the Ontario government, two confirmed instances of the omicron strain of coronavirus have been reported in Ottawa.
  • Little is known about the new form, which the World Health Organization has called omicron and classified as a variant of concern.

The Ontario government stated Sunday that there are two confirmed cases of the omicron type of coronavirus in Ottawa.

“The province of Ontario has approved two cases of COVID-19’s omicron variant in Ottawa today, both of which were reported in people who had recently traveled to Nigeria. 

Ottawa Public Health is carrying out case and contact management, and the patients are being isolated, “According to the statement.

These are the country’s first confirmed cases of the omicron variant, which come only days after additional travel restrictions were imposed on foreign nationals who had visited several countries in southern Africa in the prior two weeks.

Also read: Northern Manitoba officials warned of a nursing shortage it impact on care

On Friday, the travel restrictions went into effect. South African researchers were the first to discover the omicron form, which has sparked worldwide worry.

Little is known about the new form, which the World Health Organization has called omicron and classified as a variant of concern. It’s been connected to a spike in cases in one South African region.

At this time, it is unknown whether this variety is more transmissible or hazardous to people who become infected with it than other coronavirus variants.

“The best defense is to stop the omicron variant at our border. We continue to urge the federal government, in addition to the recently announced measures, to take the necessary steps to mandate point-of-arrival testing for all travelers, regardless of origin, to help prevent the spread of this new variant “Dr. Kieran Moore, the province’s chief medical officer of health, and Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott issued a joint statement.

According to the provincial administration, residents were asked to be vaccinated, including booster doses, and to continue to follow public health advice.

“Ontario is equipped and ready to respond to this new variety,” says the statement.

First 2 cases of omicron COVID variant confirmed in Ontario

More cases are anticipated to be confirmed: Minister of Health.

According to federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, the confirmation of two omicron cases is an indication that the country’s surveillance system is working but that additional cases of the mutation are likely.

“It is predicted that further examples of this variety will be detected in Canada as the monitoring and testing with provinces and territories continues,” Duclos added.

“I understand that this new variety may appear to be alarming,” he noted, but he emphasized that existing vaccines and public health initiatives were assisting in the reduction of COVID-19 spread.

The Canada Public Health Agency has warned in a separate statement that border restrictions may alter as the situation unfolds.

“The Canadian government will continue to analyze the unfolding circumstances and alter border procedures as necessary,” it stated.

‘It’s better to be safe than sorry,’ 

Dr. Christopher Labos, an epidemiologist, reacted to the revelation by emphasizing the world’s lack of knowledge about the omicron variant thus far, noting that other variants have failed to take root and out-compete the dominant strain.

“While it’s critical to avoid underreacting, it’s also critical to avoid overreacting. We don’t have sufficient evidence to say whether this variety is more harmful than the others we’ve noticed so far. “In an interview with the CBC News Network, he stated.

Nonetheless, he stated that it was “better to be safe than sorry” and that safeguards should be taken. However, he stated that until additional evidence is available, it is unnecessary to drastically alter one’s behavior as long as one is vaccinated and follows other public health recommendations.

“What worked previously should still work today.”

Source: CBC News

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