Riyadh: Saudi Arabia confirmed its first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant; the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday, quoting a Health Ministry source.
The case was a Saudi national who had arrived from a North African country, the ministry said without giving further details.
“Regarding the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19); a source at the Ministry of Health said that it has found a patient of the Omicron variant in Saudi Arabia. The person is a citizen arriving back from a North African country,” SPA said.
You may also like to read more about: Where to Get Tested for Coronavirus in the KSA?
It said authorities had isolated the person and people who were in contact with them. “An epidemiological investigation has started, and the said patient quarantined, following accredited health procedures,” said the ministry source.
The ministry urged people to complete their vaccination and ordered travelers to respect self-isolation and testing rules.
WHO, the World Health Organization has warned in its statement that the heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant was likely to spread internationally; and carries a very high risk of infection that could have “severe consequences.”
Omicron was reported first on Nov. 24 in southern Africa, where infections have risen very quickly. The virus has since spread to over a dozen neighboring countries. As a result, many countries have imposed travel restrictions on these countries.