France’s Health Ministry said on Sunday it had possibly detected eight cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus across the country.
It said in a statement that the people who might be infected had come into France from southern Africa but that it would still take several days to fully confirm the cases.
First discovered in South Africa, the variant has now been detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong.
The discovery of Omicron, dubbed a “variant of concern” last week by the World Health Organization, has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic.
Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although experts do not know yet if it will cause more or less severe COVID-19 compared to other strains.
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