Poland registers first omicron case, in visitor from Africa

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s health ministry on Thursday confirmed the country’s first case of the omicron coronavirus variant, detected in a visitor from Lesotho.

The ministry said in a tweet that the 30-year woman feels well but has been put in isolation. She visited Poland to take part in the U.N. Digital Summit in the southern city of Katowice last week, and tested positive as she was preparing to leave. Laboratory testing revealed that she had the omicron variant.

The ministry said national health authorities have taken necessary steps. That usually means contacting, testing and quarantining contacts of the infected person.

Poland had not registered any cases of the omicron variant until now, although a Polish teenager who traveled to China this month tested positive for it on arrival there.

The country suffered a surge in the virus in recent weeks, and new infections have now stabilized at around 20,000-25,000 daily.

Since Poland’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed last March almost 3.9 million infection cases have been registered, including almost 90,000 deaths.

More than 20.7 million Poles — out of a population of around 38 million — have been fully vaccinated so far. Almost 5 million have received booster shots.

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