Bangladesh Women players who tested Covid-19 positive have Omicron variant, says health minister

They are the first confirmed cases of the new variant in the country

An anti-bacterial hand gel pot next to a cricket ball during a net session at Blagdon Hill Cricket Club, Taunton, June 26, 2020

The positive cases were detected during a test conducted on December 6  •  Harry Trump/Getty Images

The Bangladesh health minister has confirmed the detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in two players of the women's cricket team, which recently returned from Zimbabwe from the suspended Women's World Cup Qualifier.
"Both the cricketers are in quarantine at a hotel. They are in good health," Bangladesh health minister Zahid Maleque said on Saturday evening. Maleque said the two are the first confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the country.
Everyone who came in contact with them has tested negative for Covid-19, he said. "The whole (cricket) team is also in quarantine. So there is no cause for worry," Maleque said.
According to health officials, the two cricketers appeared to have contracted the viral infection during their stay in Zimbabwe. They had tested positive for Covid-19 while under institutional quarantine upon their return from Zimbabwe on December 1. All the cricketers underwent Covid-19 tests on December 6, and samples from the two Covid-19 positive players were sent to laboratories for genome sequencing to determine if they contained the Omicron variant.
The squad members were supposed to be released from quarantine on December 6 itself, after which they were scheduled to meet the BCB president as part of their celebrations for qualifying for the Word Cup. The programme had to be cancelled due to the positive cases.