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Turkey reports first cases of omicron variant

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Turkey on Saturday reported the first six cases of the new omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed the cases during budget talks in parliament, saying the variant has been detected among patients in İstanbul and the western province of İzmir.

“They are outpatients who have extremely mild symptoms,” he said, adding that the infected people have not been hospitalized.

Koca gave no further details about how they contracted the omicron variant.

The omicron variant was first announced by South Africa last month but has since been discovered to have been present earlier in Europe.

It has prompted governments around the world to reimpose travel restrictions despite warnings from the World Health Organization that this could do more harm than good.

In the meantime, Turkey reported 17,956 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Sunday and a daily death toll of 182. A total of 82.03 percent of the country’s adult population has been vaccinated.

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