Tunisia records its first omicron variant case

Tunisia has recorded their first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant, The Associated Press reported

Tunisian health officials said on Sunday the man who tested positive for the virus is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and arrived on a flight from Istanbul.

A member of the country’s COVID-19 task force, Dr. Hachemi Louzer, said the man tested positive on Friday at the Tunis international airport, according to The AP. 

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Louzer also said a subsequent screening at the Pasteur Institute for Public Health confirmed the omicron variant, adding several other travelers, including his brother, have tested negative for the virus and have been placed in quarantine. 

The U.S., Singapore, India, and Greece are among a growing list of countries that have reported their first cases of the omicron variant.

South African health officials first discovered the new variant, and have since seen travelers from the country banned from countries including the U.S. and much of Europe. 

Heath experts said Tunisia’s response to the ongoing pandemic has improved in the past two months due to the country receiving COVID-19 vaccine shipments from several countries, The AP reported. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 25,000 citizens have died from COVID-related illnesses in Tunisia.