Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia detect their first Omicron case

Jakarta, Dec 16 (EFE).- Indonesian authorities Thursday reported the first case of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the country on the heels of Cambodia and the Philippines on the previous day.

The Indonesian health ministry said in a statement that the Omicron-infected patient works as a cleaner in a hospital in Jakarta but did not mention whether he has a history of overseas travel.

The authorities of the world’s fourth most populated country, with 270 million inhabitants, added that they are awaiting the results of another five suspected cases, all of them foreign arrivals.

A 15-weeks-pregnant, 23-year-old woman on a flight from Ghana is the first Omicron case detected in Cambodia, local authorities said Wednesday.

The woman, who had a stopover in Dubai and Bangkok, has been admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure.

The Philippine government also confirmed on Wednesday the first two cases of the Omicron variant in the archipelago in two recently-arrived travelers in the country, who are asymptomatic and are in quarantine.

The Philippine health department said that it was tracing the possible contacts of the two patients among the passengers of the different flights they had taken.

So far, none of the three countries have announced additional measures following the detection of the cases.

The arrival of the highly transmissible variant in these three countries coincides with the first stages of opening up of the countries of Southeast Asia, where tourism is an important economic driver.

The Omicron variant has already been detected in three other countries of the region although the cases are still very few.

In Thailand, which has 9 confirmed Omicron cases and 5 suspected ones, the first infection was detected in an American traveler who entered the country on a flight from Spain.

Singapore has identified 16 Omicron cases to date, including two due to local transmission.

On Thursday, Malaysia confirmed its second case with the variant in an eight-year-old girl who arrived ten days ago with her family from Nigeria.

The Malaysian health ministry has identified 18 possible cases of Omicron following the detection of the first case on Dec. 3 in a traveler from South Africa, where this new variant was first detected. EFE


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