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The new variant of COVID-19, Omicron was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as 'Omicron'. The WHO has classified Omicron as a 'variant of concern'.Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in more than 25 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.

List of the Omicron affected countries:

South Africa

Senegal

Botswana

Mexico

India

Netherlands

Hong Kong

Israel

Belgium

United Kingdom

Germany

Australia

Italy

Czechia

Denmark

Austria

Canada

Sweden

Switzerland

Spain

Portugal

Japan

France

Ghana

South Korea

Nigeria

Brazil

Norway

United States of America

Saudi Arabia

Ireland

United Arab Emirates

The strain is turning up in a growing list of countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Australia among dozens of others. Omicron, a heavily mutated version of the coronavirus, was first reported in South Africa on November 24 and is now present in more than three dozen countries.

India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.

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