Statement from Minister Duclos on first cases of Omicron variant of concern in Canada
“I was informed today by the Public Health Agency of Canada that testing and monitoring of COVID-19 cases has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of concern in Ontario.
This development demonstrates that our monitoring system is working.
I have spoken with my provincial counterpart in Ontario whose public health officials are working provincially and locally to contact and trace the cases.
As the monitoring and testing continues with provinces and territories, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada.
I know that this new variant may seem concerning, but I want to remind Canadians that vaccination, in combination with public health and individual protective measures, is working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in our communities.
On November 26, in response to concerns about the Omicron variant of concern, I announced that the Government of Canada implemented enhanced border measures for all travellers who have been in the Southern Africa region — including South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia— within the last 14 days before arriving in Canada, until January 31, 2022.
These border measures are being implemented while the Canadian and global medical, public health and research communities actively evaluate this variant – as has been done with previous variants -- to better understand the potential implications in terms of transmission, clinical presentation and vaccine efficacy.
The Government of Canada will continue to assess the evolving situation and I will provide updates as we have them.”
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
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