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Sri Lanka on Friday announced that it has confirmed its first case of the Omicron version of the coronavirus in a non-vaccinated man who returned from Nigeria.

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Health ministry spokesman Dr Hemantha Herath said the 25-year-old Sri Lankan woman had returned on November 24, four days before the government banned travelers from six African countries.

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He said he was tested at the airport as he had not been vaccinated, and the result was positive. They said she was sent to the treatment facility and later discharged and she is currently staying at her residence.

To prevent the Omicron variant from entering the country, Sri Lanka banned travelers traveling to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland from Sunday.

FILE – A medical worker seals a test tube with a COVID-19 nasal swab.

related: Study suggests past COVID-19 infections may not prevent the Omicron variant

It has eased many of its coronavirus restrictions after a sharp drop in cases and deaths in recent weeks. However, the ban on public gatherings and the ban on private gatherings continues.

A coronavirus surge occurred in mid-April and the country was placed under lockdown from 20 August to 1 October.

At the peak, new daily infections exceeded 3,000 and deaths exceeded 200. But daily infections have now dropped below 1,000 and deaths under 50.

The country has confirmed 565,471 cases and 14,399 deaths.