By Laith al-Jounaidi
AMMAN, Jordan (AA) – Five more cases of the omicron coronavirus variant were confirmed in Jordan on Thursday, raising the country’s total to seven.
Adel Bilbeisi, the official heading the kingdom’s COVID-19 response, said all five patients recently traveled to Jordan, but did not specify their countries of origin.
The patients are in quarantine at a hotel in the capital Amman and the Health Ministry is tracing any known contacts, he added.
Jordan announced its first two omicron cases last week, one of whom was a national who recently returned from South Africa.
Authorities reported 4,341 virus cases and 30 fatalities on Wednesday, pushing the kingdom’s overall tally to 1,024,032, including 12,078 deaths.
A little over 4.2 million people – just under half of Jordan’s population of some 10.2 million – have received one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 3.8 million Jordanians have been given two doses.
The omicron strain has been found in some 80 countries since it was identified in November by scientists in South Africa.
The World Health Organization chief warned this week that it is “spreading at a rate … not seen with any previous variant” and poses a “very high” global risk.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara