OREANDA-NEWS. Two people who returned from South Africa on a private flight were found to have COVID-19, the press service of Rospotrebnadzor said.

"Two passengers who returned on a private flight on the night of December 3 from South Africa were found to have a positive PCR test for a new coronavirus infection. They were in quarantine upon arrival and are currently hospitalized," the statement said.

The biological material of patients is examined in two research laboratories, information on the strain of infection is being established.
The passengers arrived on a charter flight organized by one of the fitness companies. In total, 25 Russians were taken out of South Africa.

Passengers who arrived from South Africa on Friday to Russia, on a flight where two people were diagnosed with coronavirus, were isolated for 14 days, the press service of Rospotrebnadzor said.

"Express testing of passengers has been carried out and daily PCR testing has been organized, citizens are isolated for medical supervision for 14 days," the statement said.

A new variant of coronavirus B.1.1.529 was detected on the twentieth of November in Botswana and South Africa. The researchers note that it differs in three dozen mutations in the S-protein and can be resistant to the protective antibodies of those who have been ill and vaccinated. WHO recognized this option as "of concern" and assigned it the name "omicron", after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.

In recent days, a sharp increase in the incidence of COVID-19 has been noted in South Africa. The Omicron strain has already been found in many countries, including Israel, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Australia, Portugal, Scotland, the Netherlands, France, Malaysia, and South Korea. In Russia, according to the head of the Ministry of Health Mikhail Murashko, he has not yet been identified.