Brazil became the first Latin American country to report cases of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

According to the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency, the country's first two cases involve a couple, both of whom tested positive for the new variant.

The man arrived in Sao Paulo from South Africa on November 23 and his wife had not travelled, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Brazilian government temporarily banned flights from South Africa, where Omicron was first detected on November 9.

The World Health Organization warned on Friday that Omicron was "of concern" since it has undergone multiple mutations.

Brazil, a global Covid-19 hot spot, has reported more than 22 million cases and nearly 615,000 related deaths.