Bosnia reports first Omicron cases and says it's likely to be dominant soon

A medical worker tests people at a drive-through coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing site in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

SARAJEVO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Bosnia has identified its first 10 Omicron infections and there are likely more, with the highly transmissible coronavirus variant expected to become dominant in the next couple of months, health officials said on Wednesday.

Goran Cerkez, the assistant health minister in Bosnia's autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, said the 10 cases were discovered in tests by the Clinical Centre of Sarajevo University.

"We have no doubt that Omicron has been already circulating in Bosnia and that it will become the dominant variant in the next couple of months," Cerkez told Reuters.

Administratively fragmented Bosnia does not have a national health ministry but instead has 13 regional governments and ministries, each of which comes out with its own statistics.

Official statistics suggest only about 30% of Bosnians have been inoculated against COVID-19. However Cerkez said he believed the number was far higher because the statistics did not take into account a mass exodus of Bosnians in recent years.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Nick Macfie

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