French officials verified the first case of the COVI-19 Omicron variant on Thursday.
According to the ARS health agency for Paris, the patient had not been immunized against the virus and had no COVID-19 symptoms when tested upon his arrival on November 25.
The patient’s wife, who was also unvaccinated, tested positive also while sequencing is underway to determine if she, too, has the Omicron variant. Their family has been placed in isolation.
The only verified Omicron case on French soil had previously been discovered on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, but government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Wednesday that 13 suspected cases were presently being investigated.
France is witnessing the sixth wave of increasing cases since the pandemic began last year, and three hospitals in northeast France have developed emergency protocols because Covid patients are quickly filling beds.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran has warned that average daily cases are expected to exceed the peaks of last spring’s third wave, maybe as soon as this week.
Starting Saturday, France will allow in aircraft from southern Africa, where the Omicron version was initially discovered, but only French and EU residents will be allowed to disembark.
Upon arrival, passengers would be tested and would be given a seven-day quarantine, if negative and q0 for positive.
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