Saudi Arabia becomes first Gulf state to report Omicron case


RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has become the first country in the Gulf region to report the first confirmed case of Omicron, a new variant of coronavirus, on Wednesday.

The strain has been found in a citizen returning from North Africa, a health ministry official told state-run SPA news agency.

“One case of the Omicron variant has been detected in the kingdom — it was a citizen coming from a North African country,” the official said.

“He has been put in isolation, as have his contacts, and the necessary health measures have been taken,” he added.

The new COVID variant, which was first surfaced in South Africa, has prompted the countries across the globe to reimpose travel restrictions, despite warnings issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the restriction could aggravate the situation.

Taking preventive measures, Saudi Arabia had last week imposed ban on flights from seven southern African countries to control the spread of new variant of coronavirus.

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