Finland's first Omicron cases identified

A group of five people are the focus of the first cluster of cases.

Airports are a key point of entry for Covid variants. Image: Sasha Silvala / Yle

Finland's first cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus have been identified. The two cases were sequenced from patients who had recently returned from Sweden.

They were part of a group of five people on a trip, and the other three members of the group have been tested with results expected early next week.

At least one of the confirmed cases was double vaccinated, and only has mild symptoms so far.

The group travelled by plane, and according to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), there were no exposures on the flight.

"We have notified these infections internationally in the normal way, and the contact tracing has taken place that way," said Carita Savolainen-Kopra of THL. "It's to do with how they were sitting there [on the plane] and there are certain criteria as to who was exposed during the flight. According to our information, nobody on the flight has been adjudged to have been exposed."

Those exposed in Finland after the group landed have been identified and asked to isolate, according to THL.