The first case of the coronavirus variant Omicron in the Czech Republic has been confirmed after further laboratory tests, a spokesperson for the hospital in Liberec says, according to the CTK agency.
The hospital had consulted the reference laboratory and experts from the Academy of Sciences.
The patient is a woman who had returned from a trip to Namibia with a stopover in South Africa.
The virus variant has been classified as “of concern” by the World Health Organisation.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has stated that there are serious concerns that the variant could significantly reduce the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines and increase the risk of reinfection.
The exact effects of the new variant, however, have not yet been determined.
Since Monday, everyone in the Czech Republic who has been fully vaccinated for at least six months can register online for a booster.
For those aged 60 and older and chronically ill, the interval will soon be reduced to five months.
Meanwhile, it was announced that both the caretaker health minister, Adam Vojtech, and the top health official, Pavla Svrcinova, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Both want to continue working from home.