The Omicron variant has not been detected in Saskatchewan; 40 people were asked to test, isolate

Saskatchewan’s top doctor said the public health agency had notified 40 people in the province to come in for testing and isolation after traveling from several countries in the southern African region recently when the variant Omicrons of COVID-19 were first detected in South Africa.

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Dr Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical officer, said people returning to the province within the past 14 days from countries including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Namibia.

“Those 40 individuals are in the process of being contacted,” Dr. Shahab said. “Less than half of the tests have been submitted and we are waiting for the test results. We expect most, if not, all to be negative.”

Saskatchewan health officials have provided updates on the Omicron B.1.1.529 variant in the province and how preparations are being made. Dr Shahab said they have been in discussions with the federal government on a daily basis since Friday. He said he was confident that Saskatchewan health officials would be able to spot any COVID-19 variants of interest, including Omicron.

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Dr Shahab said 40 international travelers are required, under the Quarantine Act, to quarantine and quarantine at home for 14 days.

“They have also been instructed to take a test on arrival,” he said. “Many people have done it … and no positive tests have been detected so far.”

He added, if there is a positive test result, the province will prepare for genome sequencing to determine if Delta or Omicron variant is related. Shahab warned the situation could progress rapidly.

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

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

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

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