Tunisia records its first case of the omicron variant

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia recorded its first case of the omicron variant Sunday after health authorities in the North African country said a man traveling in from Turkey tested positive.

A member of Tunisia’s COVID-19 task force, Dr. Hachemi Louzer, said the man was from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He tested positive Friday at the Tunis international airport after arriving from Istanbul and a subsequent screening of the sample at the Pasteur Institute for Public Health in the capital, Tunis, confirmed the omicron variant, Louzer said.

Several of his fellow travelers, including his brother, who tested negative for COVID-19 have been quarantined, he said.

Health authorities have restricted travel to Tunisia after the spread of the omicron variant in Africa and Europe over the past week.

The overall epidemiological situation in Tunisia has improved in the past two months after the country received vaccine shipments from several countries, including the United States, health experts said.

More than 25,000 people have died of coronavirus in Tunisia.

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