Brazil reports two ‘preliminary’ Omicron cases

Brazil’s health regulator on Tuesday reported the discovery of two “preliminary” cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in a traveler from South Africa, where it was first detected, and his wife.

Positive samples from the two Brazilians will now be sent for further laboratory analysis for confirmation, the Anvisa regulator said in a statement.

If confirmed, they would be the first Omicron cases in Latin America.

The passenger arrived at the international airport at Guarulhos in Sao Paulo on November 23, with a negative coronavirus test.

Two days later, he and his wife returned to the airport for new tests required to take a flight back to South Africa. Both tested positive.

The new Covid-19 variant, which the World Health Organization says poses a “very high” risk, has prompted many countries to shut their borders.