Turkey reports first case of Omicron variant

Turkey reports first case of Omicron variant
1 min read
12 December, 2021
Turkey's Health Minister announced that six cases of the Omicron variant had been detected in Istanbul and western Izmir province.
Fahrettin Koca announced the cases to the Turkish parliament [Getty]

Turkey reported its first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on Saturday, according to Anadolu Agency

The news of the infections was confirmed by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, during budget talks in parliament, who said that six cases had been identified in Istanbul and western Izmir province.

“They are outpatients who do not have any problems and are with extremely mild symptoms,” Koca explained. 

The Health Minister added that the infected individuals had not been hospitalised. 

It has not been confirmed how they came to be infected. 

The Omicron variant, which was first identified in South Africa, has now been recorded in 57 countries, according to the World Health Organisation, and was designated as a “variant of concern”. 

The Omicron variant is believed to be far more infectious than previous variants, but not inherently more lethal. 

The spread has prompted a number of countries to speed up their booster vaccine programmes.

News of the new Omicron variant, prompted the Turkish government to close it borders, two weeks ago, to all travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. 

To date, Turkey has identified over 9 million cases of Covid-19 in the country and recorded 78,969 deaths related to the disease.