Passengers travelling on a private flight from South Africa to Moscow have tested positive for coronavirus, Russia’s health watchdog has announced, raising fears the Omicron variant may have entered the country.

On Friday, Rospotrebnadzor’s press service revealed that two passengers had traveled on the overnight flight and subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 after carrying out PCR tests.

“Biological material from passengers is being tested at two research laboratories. Information on the strain of the coronavirus infection is being established,” the service said.

The two passengers were sent into quarantine on arrival and are currently hospitalized, the health watchdog said. Everyone who was on board is to remain in isolation for 14 days.

The private journey was organized by a fitness company that runs sports camps in South Africa to take Russians out of the country due to the cancelation of regular flights, with seats going for around $17,000 a pop for people desperate to get home. A total of 25 Russians were on board, but the company’s chief refused to say how many were paying passengers. (RT)