Ontario detects Canada's first two known cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant

Cases of Omicron variant

Ontario has detected Canada's first two known cases of Omicron, a new COVID-19 variant of concern.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says both cases were found in the Ottawa area in people who had recently returned from Nigeria.

She and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore say Ottawa Public Health is conducting "case and contact management" and the patients are self-isolating.

The federal government recently banned visitors from seven countries in southern Africa.

Nigeria is not among them.

Elliott and Moore's statement urges the federal government to take stronger action at the border, suggesting that everyone be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, not just before leaving for Canada.

The pair say Ontario is testing all eligible positive COVID-19 samples to determine their variant.

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