Two cases of the Omicron variant of the Covid virus have been reported in Ontario, according to Canadian officials.
Christine Elliott and Kieran Moore, Ontario's top health officials, announced in a joint statement that two people recently returned from Nigeria have tested positive for the variant.
A number of countries, including Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Israel, have acquired the Omicron variant since it was discovered in South Africa.
In order to determine whether others in the country might also be infected, contact tracing was being conducted.
Health officials said they plan to prevent as many Omicron cases as possible from entering Canada.
To further prevent the spreading of this new strain, the pair urged the federal government to mandate point-of-arrival testing, regardless of where travellers are coming from. This might mean a potential for another lockdown in Canada. Will this come to the United States? That remains to be seen.
The province of Ontario has focused rapid Covid-19 testing on travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, according to a statement.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the variant could already be in the United States. However, officials still have not confirmed anything.
The virus has not yet been spotted, but when a virus shows such a high degree of transmission potential and there are already reports from Israel and Belgium - a virus like this is almost certain to spread far and wide.
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