Wojciech Andrusiewicz told reporters: “We are 100 percent certain that a Polish citizen currently staying in China is infected with the omicron strain of the coronavirus.”
The girl tested positive for the variant on December 13 upon arriving in China with her mother, having tested negative in Poland a week earlier, Andrusiewicz said.
The patient, who has shown no symptoms, is being quarantined and treated in a designated hospital, he added.
Andrusiewicz told the media that omicron "has not yet been detected in Poland," but “we will confirm this variant sooner or later."
"In my view there is no possibility that we won’t," he said.
His announcement came in the wake of a report in China’s Global Times newspaper that an overseas arrival from Warsaw was diagnosed with the coronavirus on December 9 in the northern city of Tianjin, before genetic testing revealed the strain to be omicron.
It is the first case of the contagious variant in mainland China, which has introduced strict rules for arrivals under its “zero Covid” strategy, Poland's PAP news agency reported.
According to the Global Times, Tianjin authorities are planning special measures to prevent the spread of omicron in the city.
Poland on Tuesday reported 17,460 new coronavirus infections and 537 more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the country's total number of cases during the pandemic to 3,857,085 and fatalities to 89,045.