MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Two people tested positive for the COVID-19 Omicron variant after returning to Russia from South Africa, the Russian sanitary watchdog said.
The variant was detected as a result of whole genome sequencing conducted by the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology that’s run by the sanitary watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, the agency said in a statement.
A total of 10 people had positive PCR tests for COVID-19 after returning from South Africa, and the variants are being determined for the rest of the tests, the agency said.
The World Health Organization on November 26 designated the В.1.1.529 variant, which was found in southern Africa, with the Greek letter Omicron. The WHO stated the new strain has a large number of mutations, some of which cause concern as they could affect the efficacy of vaccines. Preliminary studies show the variant is highly transmissible.