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Omicron variant found on French territory of Réunion

·1-min read

A person has tested positive for the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus on the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion.

According to official researcher Dr. Patrick Mavingui, the person is a 53-year old man who had travelled to Mozambique and made a stop-over in South Africa.

The patient who returned to La Réunion some two weeks ago, is currently in isolation, Mavingui told local French media.

Omicron - first reported in southern Africa and which the World Health Organization said carries a "very high" risk of infection surges - has triggered global alarm, with border closures casting a shadow over a nascent economic recovery from a two-year pandemic.

Health ministry data showed on Monday that France had registered its biggest jump in coronavirus-related hospital admissions since the spring.

The number of patients in intensive care units with Covid-19 jumped by 117 to 1,749 people, the biggest increase since March-April, when the ICU number rose by more than 100 per day over several days.

There are eight suspected cases of the Omicron variant on the French mainland that have yet to be confirmed.

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