Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and South Korea on Wednesday became the latest countries to report cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. This followed similar announcements made in Brazil and Japan on Tuesday.
why does it matter: Access “variable anxiety” In more countries, it highlights the difficulties governments are facing as they seek to reopen economies stalled due to nearly two years of pandemic restrictions in The era of global air travel.
The Big Picture: Since the alternative was Identified by scientists in South Africa Earlier this month, Omicron Cases confirmed across Europe and Canada, Israel, Hong Kong and Australia. The United States was among Several countries to impose Travel restrictions on southern African countries in response.
What is happening: On Wednesday, the Saudi Ministry of Health reported the first case of Omicron, according to the state in the kingdom Saudi Press Agency. The Saudi Press Agency stated that the case concerned a “national returning from a North African country.”
- South Korean officials reported the country’s first five known cases of the Omicron variant, per Reuters.
- On Tuesday, health officials in Brazil announced two positive test results for Omicron, confirming the first cases of the variant in Latin America, in Reuters.
- Japanese officials reported the country’s first case of Omicron earlier on Tuesday The Japan Times reported. A second case was reported on Wednesday, in each AP.
Nigerian Institute of Health He said on Wednesday she has The first three Omicron cases identified in the country. Those cases concern individuals who arrived in Nigeria from South Africa in the past week, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
- Earlier Wednesday, the NCDC reported that it also detected an Omicron variant in a sample collected in October, but later retracted that statement, according to The New York Times. An NCDC spokesperson told The Times that the October sample was a delta type.
- The National Center for Disease Control and Prevention did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.
deepen: Omicron dashboard
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details all the time.