The highly mutated new coronavirus variant known as Omicron is “very likely” to already be present in Germany, a regional health minister warned on Saturday.
At least one person who recently returned from South Africa has tested positive for Covid-19 and while the full sequencing of the variant that infected him has yet to be completed, several of the mutations already identified were typical of Omicron, Kai Klose, health minister of the western state of Hesse, said on Twitter. The variant was first detected in southern Africa.
Hesse contains the city of Frankfurt, a financial hub with a busy airport where two Lufthansa flights arrived from South Africa on Friday.
“There is a very strong suspicion, the person has been isolated at home,” Mr. Klose tweeted. “The #Omicron variant is with a very high probability already in Germany.”