Europe

Norway detects its first two Omicron coronavirus cases

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People walk on the street in Oslo, Norway March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Lefteris Karagiannopoulos

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OSLO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Norway has identified its first two cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, the west coast municipality of Oeygarden and the health ministry said on Wednesday.

The two people who were infected had been on a trip to South Africa. Both of them were currently recovering from the infection, Oeygarden mayor Tom Georg Indrevik said in a statement.

The municipality of close to 40,000 people had recently seen a rise in infections of other variants of COVID-19, and would now further tighten its local restrictions to control the outbreak, it said.

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Norway on Friday imposed a quarantine on any travellers arriving from South Africa or neighbouring countries, following a similar decision by neighbouring Denmark and many other countries around the world.

On Tuesday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere announced new measures to contain the coronavirus, including asking Norwegians to wear face masks in most crowded places and speeding up booster dose vaccinations. read more

The Omicron variant has caused concern as its mutations could potentially reduce the effect of vaccines, though it would take weeks to determine that. read more

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Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Alex Richardson

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