BERLIN, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Germany said on Sunday it had
detected a total of three cases of the new Omicron coronavirus
variant after a suspected infection in the western state of
Hesse was confirmed.
"The sequencing has confirmed the result - the suspected
case which was made public yesterday morning is the Omicron
variant," Kai Klose, Social Affairs Minister in the state of
On Saturday he said a suspected Omicron case had been found
in a passenger arriving from South Africa in Hesse, home to
Frankfurt airport, one of Europe's busiest air hubs.
On Saturday, health officials in the southern state of
Bavaria detected two cases of the Omicron variant.
Restrictions on air travel from South Africa took effect on
Sunday after it was classified as a virus-variant area. This
means airlines can fly only Germans to Germany from South Africa
and even those who are vaccinated must spend 14 days in
The new variant has caused alarm in Germany which, like many
other European countries, is struggling to contain a fourth wave
of the COVID-19 crisis, with a surge in coronavirus cases.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Louise Heavens)