Germany on Saturday confirmed the country's first two cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant, recently detected in South Africa.
The two people with the newly-discovered variant came to Germany from South Africa on Wednesday, said a statement by the Bavarian State Ministry of Health.
Reports on the new strain prompted the two individuals to get tested for the coronavirus, said the statement, adding that they have been in self-isolation since Thursday.
The statement urged those who have been in South Africa in the past 14 days to reduce contact with others, get tested, and contact the health department.
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.