Omicron in Ottawa

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott released a statement Sunday evening confirming two Omicron variant cases in Ottawa. According to the statement, the affected individuals travelled from Nigeria and have been isolated.

The variant was first detected in South Africa. After the World Health Organization announced the new variant last week, many countries banned travellers travelling from South Africa.

In response to concerns about the Omicron variant, the Canadian federal government implemented modified border measures on Friday for all travellers who had been in several countries in the southern Africa region. Nigeria was not affected by the measures.

“The best defence against the Omicron variant is stopping it at our border,” read the provincial statement released by Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott. “We continue to urge the federal government to take the necessary steps to mandate point-of-arrival testing for all travellers.”

Public Health Agency of Canada said that early data shows the Omicron variant to be more transmissible. “There is ongoing international data gathering to determine the impact of this variant on severity of illness and on vaccine effectiveness,” said the agency.