“As for the closure of borders, this measure is effective at an early stage of the spread of the option.

Now, when it is not yet known how widespread the omicron is in Russia, the closure of the borders with South Africa is a justified measure, "said Bazykin, quoted by RIA Novosti.

At the same time, in the event that Russia finds its own cases of the disease with a new strain of COVID-19, closing the borders will no longer be an effective measure, he noted.

On December 6, two Russians returning from South Africa were diagnosed with an omicron variant of the coronavirus, Rospotrebnadzor reported.

On the basis of smears taken from patients with the new strain, a sample of the omicron strain was obtained at the Gamaleya Research Center.

Russia has introduced a two-week quarantine for citizens arriving from South Africa and neighboring countries.