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Russia reports first cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant – agencies

MOSCOW — Russia on Monday reported its first confirmed cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Russian news agencies reported, in two people who returned from South Africa.

Interfax cited consumer health regulator Rospotrebnadzor as saying that 10 people who returned from South Africa had tested positive for COVID-19. RIA said Omicron had been detected in two arrivals from South Africa.

President Vladimir Putin last week ordered the government to prepare an action plan to fight Omicron, saying it was important to maintain supplies of drugs, oxygen and hospital beds.

(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Writing by Alexander Marrow)