Bangkok [Thailand], December 6 (ANI/Sputnik): The latest strain of the coronavirus, dubbed Omicron, is gaining pace worldwide as nations in different regions report infections daily, including Latvia, Thailand, Nepal, and Japan.
The department of disease control of the Thai Ministry of Public Health reported the first infection with the new variant in a vaccinated individual.
"Infection with the Omicron strain was detected in a 35 year old American citizen vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in June, who arrived in Thailand from Spain on November 30 under the quarantine-free Test&Go program," Opas Karnkawinpong, chief of the department, told reporters on Monday.
Upon his departure from Spain on November 28, the carrier tested negative for the coronavirus. He then made a transfer in Dubai, where he spent nine hours, and was hospitalized after testing positive for the disease in Thailand. The patient's condition is stable and asymptomatic, Karnkawinpong added.
According to the official, the patient had two contacts at the Thai airport and 17 contacts at a hotel.
The Latvian news agency Leta reported on Monday two cases of Omicron, confirmed on December 5 by a local laboratory. The samples were reportedly taken at the airport in the capital of Riga on Saturday.
According to The Himalayan Times newspaper, citing the Nepalese Health Ministry, two people, a 71 year old Nepalese national and a 66 year old foreigner, whose citizenship was not specified, tested positive for Omicron. The latter entered Nepal by plane, was fully vaccinated, and tested negative for the disease upon arrival, while the infected Nepalese national was his close contact.
A total of 66 contacts of the Omicron patients have been tested for the virus in Nepal in relation to the incident, and their results came back negative, the ministry went on, adding that both patients are currently in isolation and treatment.
Japan confirmed on Monday a third case of the Omicron strain in a traveler from Italy, who arrived at an airport in Tokyo last Wednesday, the Kyodo news agency reported, citing government sources. The patient was fully vaccinated with Moderna in the summer. A total of 41 other people on the same flight are being monitored by the authorities as close contacts, with one confirmed to be positive for the coronavirus, but not the Omicron strain.
The first infection with the new variant was detected in Japan on November 30, and the second on December 1.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa last month, prompting countries worldwide to renew restrictions on travel as the fresh variant was recognized by the World Health Organization as a variant of concern, given the high number of mutations it contains, making it potentially more transmissible and dangerous.
In the meantime, Omicron is now present in different parts of the world, including Europe, the United States, and Australia. Early on Monday, two cases of the new strain were confirmed in Russia in two arrivals from South Africa, according to the Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor. The authorities have yet to determine the variants of 10 other passengers on the same flight who tested positive for the virus. (ANI/Sputnik)