No reports of Omicron Covid variant in Poland, dep minister says

Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland has not yet recorded a case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a deputy health minister has said.

Waldemar Kraska told private TV broadcaster Polsat News on Monday that Polish laboratories were working "at full capacity" and the government was monitoring the situation.

"I believe that if such a case appears in Poland, and as of today we haven't had any reports of a new Omicron mutation case is in Poland, we'll certainly take immediate action," Kraska said.

"If this mutation appears in our country, we would like to detect it as quickly as possible and restrict its potential location, the potential pocket," Kraska said.

Kraska did not respond directly to a question as to whether passengers arriving in Poland from South Africa were being subjected to a special testing procedure.

He said that Health Minister Adam Niedzielski had told the sanitary services "to take the utmost care of all those coming to Poland".

"Today the crisis team will meet, including the chief sanitary inspector, so certain decisions will be taken," he added.

The meeting is scheduled for 2 pm today.

The Omicron variant has sent shockwaves across the world, with countries introducing bans on flights from a number of African countries and economists fearing that the new variant, which is spreading much faster compared to previous ones, could put more strain on global economies that have just been recovering from the pandemic.