Seven cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in Finland as of Saturday, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) said.
"Finland has identified seven cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant so far. All identified cases are related to the same chain of infections," the THL said in a statement.
Out of the seven cases, one was identified in the hospital districts of Helsinki, four in the country's southwest and two more in the North Savo region, the institute said.
They advised sticking to the safety measures that have been established so far: having the advised amount of vaccinations, good hand and mask hygiene and keeping a safe distance from others. "If you find yourself having symptoms, stay at home and go to a coronavirus test if necessary." THL stated.
According to the institute, the appearance of variants is normal and part of the natural cycle of viruses. Variants can spread and replace other dominant variants, which has been seen to happen during the coronavirus pandemic before.
Omicron was first detected in South Africa and marked as a variant of concern due to its high infection rates by the World Health Organization prompting countries worldwide to enforce new travel restrictions and public health measures.