Dhaka: Bangladesh has confirmed the presence of Omicron variant of the coronavirus in two players of the women’s national cricket team, which recently returned from Zimbabwe.

“Both the cricketers are in quarantine at a hotel. They are in good health,” Health Minister Zahid Maleque told reporters here late Saturday evening.

Doctors are expecting their recovery by the next two weeks, he said.

Without revealing the identity of the cricketers, Maleque said, the two — one 21- year-old and the other 30 — are the first confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the country.

Everyone who came into contact with them have been tested, but none of them have tested positive for Covid-19, he said.

Besides, “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 Bangladesh women’s national cricket team had gone to Zimbabwe in October to take part in the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifying round and returned home as qualifier.

Bangladesh has so far recorded 15,78,996 coronavirus cases, while the death toll stands at 28,022.

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