First cases of Omicron COVID variant identified in Switzerland
The first cases of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected in Switzerland. The new strain, classified as “worrying” and a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has already spread to many European nations, despite attempts to stop it.
First cases of Omicron in Swiss cities
The first three cases in Switzerland were confirmed by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) late on Tuesday night. All close contacts have been placed into quarantine, which includes 100 pupils at a local school in Basel.
The first two cases were found to be linked to each other, though the FOPH has not announced where the cases were detected for the sake of anonymity. The third case was confirmed in Basel. The FOPH has also not made clear how the variant found its way to Switzerland.
Omicron cases in Switzerland despite travel quarantine
Classified by the WHO as a variant of concern last Friday, Switzerland has already forced arrivals from over 20 nations to quarantine to stop Omicron from spreading quickly. Authorities are concerned that the variant may be more transmissible than Delta, and it is yet to be confirmed if the new strain causes more severe illness.
The variant, originally identified in South Africa, has already spread to a number of European nations like the Netherlands. With a current spike in Delta causing great strain on hospitals and the healthcare system in Switzerland, authorities are approaching the new variant with some trepidation.