THL: No Omicron variant found in two suspected cases, three more under investigation

THL's director of health security said earlier this week that emergence of the Omicron variant in Finland was "inevitable".

Finland has restricted travel from the southern Africa region due to concerns about the Omicron variant (file photo of Johannesburg Airport). Image: Kim Ludbrook / EPA

No evidence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been found in two suspected cases of the highly-mutated variant, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said on Wednesday.

The samples from both suspected cases — detected in Finland last week — were genetically sequenced, in order to determine their genetic makeup. One was found to be the Delta variant while the other will be sent for re-testing as the viral value within the sample was too low to provide an accurate determination.

Meanwhile, news agency STT reported that three further suspected cases are now being investigated.

"The results will be confirmed in the coming days. It is quite likely that more suspected cases will be identified," the THL said in a press release.

THL Director of Health Security Mika Salminen said earlier this week that the spread of the Omicron variant in Finland was "inevitable", but added that there was no need for people to panic, as the infectivity and severity of the new variant has not yet been determined.

So far Omicron cases have been confirmed in two other Nordic countries: Sweden and Denmark.