The Institute of Health said it would take days to confirm whether the new variant had arrived in the country or not.
The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) announced on Monday that two suspected cases of the coronavirus variant Omicron are being investigated in Finland and added that both cases involved foreigners.
The director of diagnostics at the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) said earlier on Monday Lasse Lehtonen, confirmed to Yle that it was very possible that the first occurrence of the new variant was detected in a Covid test conducted in the area last week.
“There is still a sample [genetically] sequenced, “Lehtonen told Yle.” It will take a couple of weeks. “
Sequencing refers to the examination of the genetic composition of a test sample.
Omicron is a recently discovered variant of the coronavirus, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. However, researchers have said it is still unclear how contagious or how much danger the new variant poses.
It is currently believed that Omicron is more easily transmitted than other variants, but on the other hand, people infected with it appear to have only mild symptoms of Covid. Omicron was first discovered in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.
professor of virology, Olli Vapalahti, told Yle on Monday that it is entirely possible that HUS ‘s sample was indeed Omicron’ s question, adding that the matter is still unclear.
He explained that the borderline Covid screening used PCR tests with a technique that causes the Omicron variant to give a negative result, as in the case. However, Vapalahti added that the same result is due to the presence of the Alpha variant.
“It simply came to our notice then. [The sample] periodically to clarify matters. It will take days, maybe a week, “Vapalahti explained.
He said that it is widely assumed that the new variant will eventually come to Finland, as have other versions.
“At the beginning of the epidemic, a third of all cases came from a single case from southern Europe,” he explained.