Omicron variant not yet detected in Saskatchewan; 40 people were asked to do tests, isolate themselves | The Canadian News

Saskatchewan’s chief physician says the public health agency has notified 40 people in the province to test and isolate themselves after recently traveling from several countries in the Southern Africa region, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 it was first detected in South Africa.

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Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s director of medical health, says that people returned to the province in the past 14 days from countries including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Namibia.

“Those 40 people are in the process of being contacted,” Dr. Shahab said. “Just under half have already submitted the tests and we are awaiting the test results. We expect most, if not all, to be negative. “

Saskatchewan health officials provided an update on Omicron variant B.1.1.529 in the province and how preparations are being made. Dr. Shahab says they have been in talks with the federal government on a daily basis since Friday. He said he is confident that Saskatchewan health officials will be able to detect any variant of COVID-19 that concerns him, including Omicron.

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Dr Shahab says that the 40 international travelers must, under the Quarantine Law, be quarantined and isolated at home for 14 days.

“They have also been ordered to do a test upon arrival,” he said. “Many have already done so … and so far no positive tests have been detected.”

He adds that, if there is a positive test, the province is prepared to perform genome sequencing to determine if the Delta or Omicron variant is involved. Shahab warns that the situation can evolve quickly.

Click to play video: 'Canada may need to do more to combat Omicron COVID-19 variant, says Trudeau'

Canada may need to do more to combat Omicron’s COVID-19 variant, says Trudeau

Canada may need to do more to combat Omicron’s COVID-19 variant, says Trudeau

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