MADRID, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was confirmed in Spain on Monday by the service of microbiology at the Gregorio Maranon Hospital in Madrid.
The patient was a 51-year-old man who returned to Spain on Sunday after visiting South Africa, where the variant is first detected. He was suffering slight symptoms, according to the hospital.
The man was reported to have flown into Spain on a flight from Amsterdam, the Netherland.
The news came after the Spanish government announced new measures to try and stop the spread of the new variant, placing restrictions on arrivals from southern Africa.
Stricter controls have also been applied to arrivals from the UK, who will now need to provide a vaccine certificate as well as a negative test result to be allowed to enter the country.
On Monday the Spanish Ministry of Health reported 22,911 new cases of COVID-19 in the 72 hours since 14.00 hours on Friday until the same time on Monday. Fifty-three people lost their lives over the same period while the 14-day incidence of the virus climbed 27 points to 199.02 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic now stands at 5,153,921, with 88,008 people losing their lives to the virus.