A second infection with the Omicron coronavirus variant has been identified in Belgium, and the number of cases could rise in the coming hours, announced several experts via Twitter.
The second Omicron case is unrelated to the first, says virologist Marc Van Ranst, who added that the national reference laboratory is currently "examining other suspect samples."
The new infection was found in someone living in the French-speaking part of Belgium who has not been abroad recently, but has been in contact with someone who had been travelling, Van Ranst specified to VRT. "The exact circumstances still have to be investigated," he said, adding that the infected person has only mild symptoms and has been vaccinated. According to microbiologist Emmanuel André, who is in charge of the national Covid-19 reference laboratory, the number of Omicron cases "might reach ten in the coming hours" as researchers are still "awaiting sequencing results."
Een tweede omikron-geval werd gedetecteerd in ons land, ongerelateerd aan het eerste geval. Het nationaal referentielaboratorium onderzoekt momenteel nog andere verdachte stalen.— Marc Van Ranst (@vanranstmarc) December 1, 2021
Just under a week ago, on 26 November, a first infection with the Omicron variant was discovered in Belgium. The variant, also known as B.1.1.529, was discovered by researchers in South Africa, but that does not necessarily mean that the variant originated there.
Now 2 confirmed Omicron cases in Belgium. These two patients are not linked. This number might reach 10 in the coming hours. Awaiting sequencing results.— Emmanuel André (@Emmanuel_microb) December 1, 2021