The first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which was recently discovered in South Africa, was confirmed in Italy on Saturday.
The patient, who had been fully vaccinated, returned to Italy from Mozambique only days ago, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
People who had been in contact with the patient are also self-isolating as a precaution, it added
Italy on Saturday announced 12,877 new cases and 93 coronavirus-related deaths.
This week, South African scientists announced that they had discovered the Omicron variant, which has several mutations that may carry the risk of reinfection. The same variant was also detected in neighboring Botswana, as well as Hong Kong, and was first detected on Nov. 12-22 before being announced on Thursday.
On Friday, the World Health Organization declared the strain a “variant of concern,” naming it Omicron.
Several countries around the world have now banned flights from over half a dozen Southern African nations, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Eswatini, over fears of the new variant.