Covid-19: First two cases of the Omicron variant in Mauritius

Two first cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been detected in Mauritius in a person returning from South Africa and in another whose spouse had stayed in that country, the Minister of Health announced.
“Both Omicron variant positive patients were asymptomatic during medical follow-up. They remained under surveillance and the tests conducted on Thursday were negative. They have already returned home,” Health Minister Dr. Kailesh Jagutpal said at a press conference.
Tracing operations in the surroundings of these two people were conducted, revealing 12 positive cases with a missing S gene, a telltale sign of the Omicron variant, he said.
Sequencing of these 12 samples is underway to confirm possible contamination with the new variant.
One of the first two cases of Omicron was detected in a man who traveled on November 27 on a flight from South Africa, where the variant was first reported on November 25.
The second case was detected in a woman living in the commune of Tamarin (south-west of the island), after a PCR test performed in a clinic. Her husband had returned from South Africa on 18 November.
According to WHO figures, a total of 62,652 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Mauritius, with 680 deaths.
A total of 901,187 people have received two doses of vaccine, or 73.5% of the island’s population, according to government figures.