J Korean Med Sci.  2021 Dec;36(50):e346. 10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e346.

Importation and Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) Variant of Concern in Korea, November 2021

  • 1Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Incheon Metropolitan Government, Incheon, Korea
  • 4Gyeonggi-do Infectious Disease Control Center, Suwon, Korea
  • 5Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul, Korea
  • 6Capital Regional Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Incheon Airport National Quarantine Station, Incheon, Korea


In November 2021, 14 international travel-related severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of concern (VOC) patients were detected in South Korea. Epidemiologic investigation revealed community transmission of the omicron VOC. A total of 80 SARS-CoV-2 omicron VOC-positive patients were identified until December 10, 2021 and 66 of them reported no relation to the international travel. There may be more transmissions with this VOC in Korea than reported.


Coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Omicron Variant


  • Fig. 1 Chronological distribution of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of concern cases. (A) Epidemic curve of reported confirmed cases (n = 80). (B) Patterns of community transmission.

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