By Talha Ozturk and Ahmet Nurduhan
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - The fast-spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Croatia and Slovenia, according to health authorities.
Health ministries of both countries said they are trying to detect the source of infections.
An epidemiologist, Bernard Kalic, earlier said they expect more omicron cases to emerge in the coming days and weeks.
Croatia has vaccinated around 54% of its population of 4.2 million, a much lower figure than the EU average. More than 11,000 people with COVID-19 have died in Croatia.
Meanwhile, Slovenia announced that four samples of the omicron variant were detected in the last screening tests carried out at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology.
Health Minister Janez Poklukar said the spread of omicron may cause another COVID-19 wave. The recent decline in the daily number of infections is also slowing down and the minister renewed his call to the people to get vaccinated.
Slovenia has vaccinated about 55.8% of its 2.76 million population. The country has so far registered over 5,436 fatalities from COVID-19.
The omicron variant is expected to spread also to Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the New Year holidays.