Covid-19 live updates: Omicron variant now in North America as first cases found in Canada

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The omicron coronavirus variant has been detected in Canada, the country’s health minister said on Sunday, marking the first identification of the variant in North America as cases continue to emerge around the globe.

Two cases in Ontario were confirmed to have been of the omicron variant, which has been noted as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s health minister, said.

“This clearly demonstrates the pandemic is not over,” Dominic Perrottet, the premier of Australia’s New South Wales state, told reporters Sunday after the variant was detected there. “There are limits to what the state and federal government can do: These variants will get into the country. It is inevitable.”

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