Nine Russians returning from South Africa test positively for presence of COVID-19

They have all been hospitalized and are under medical observation

MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Nine Russian citizens who returned to Russia from South Africa had a positive PCR test, the strain is being established, the press service of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing told journalists.

“Among individuals who arrived from South Africa a positive PCR test for the presence of the coronavirus has already been detected in nine Russian citizens who were previously under observation. They have all been hospitalized and are under medical observation. The strain of the coronavirus is being established,” the statement said.

It is noted that on December 3 and 4, the specialists of the sanitary and quarantine control undertook all the necessary measures on flights arriving from South Africa and Ethiopia.

Earlier, a positive PCR test was detected in two individuals who arrived from South Africa on Friday. The strain is also being established.

On November 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the B.1.1.529 variant identified in South Africa as a “Variant of Concern” and assigned it the Greek letter Omicron. In its statement, the WHO noted that “this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.” Several changes at once in the spike protein can potentially hinder the neutralization of the pathogen by antibodies which may impact the effectiveness of vaccines. Additionally, according to preliminary reports, the mutation is much more transmissible.

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