4 Suspected Omicron Infections Found in Korea

  • By Sun Jung-min, Hong Jun-ki, Choi Eun-kyung

    December 01, 2021 09:14

    Four suspected cases of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been reported in Korea. The government said Tuesday that four people including a couple who recently returned from Nigeria are suspected of having contracted the strain and health officials are tracing their routes of transmission.

    The couple visited Nigeria between Nov. 14 and 23, arrived at Incheon International Airport on Nov. 24 and tested positive for COVID-19 the following day. The couple were fully vaccinated on Oct. 28.

    The plane they boarded took off from Nigeria with 81 passengers but stopped over in Ethiopia, and 45 passengers arrived in Korea.

    The other two are a friend of the couple's who drove them home from the airport and the couple's teenage son who tested positive on Tuesday.

    Travelers board a flight at Incheon International Airport on Tuesday. /Newsis

    The Delta variant, which is presently the dominant strain around the world, can be detected with PCR tests alone, but Omicron infections are suspected if initial screening results yield inconclusive results.

    According to the government, 2,776 people arrived in Korea from Africa in the five weeks before Nov. 28, when the government banned visitors from eight African countries.

    Twenty-two of them tested positive for COVID-19 and 14 were carrying the Delta variant. Nigeria is not among the eight African countries because it is not in southern Africa, where the variant was first detected.

    Meanwhile, the daily tally of new coronavirus infections surged to 5,123 on Wednesday morning with 723 severe cases. In Seoul alone, 2,222 cases were reported.

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