Uganda confirmed seven cases of the Omicron variant last evening. According to the ministry of health, five of these arrived from Nigeria while two arrived from South Africa.
“The confirmed cases have been isolated and are being closely monitored. They are not severely ill,” said the Health Ministry before urging the public not to panic but rather get vaccinated against COVID-19 and adhere to the SOPs.
Where has the virus been detected?
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the Omicron variant has now been detected in 39 countries, although no deaths have yet been reported in any of these nations.
As a result of Omicron, many nations that were already suffering from soaring numbers of Covid-19 cases caused by the Delta variant have imposed new lockdown measures and travel restrictions.
How fast is the variant spreading?
South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg confirmed that Omicron is spreading quickly. On December 1, the country recorded 8,561 cases compared with a total of 3,402 reported on November 26.
However, the WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier disclosed that data suggesting that Omicron was highly transmissible was only preliminary.
Do COVID-19 Vaccines Protect Against the Omicron Variant?
Existing vaccines should still protect people who contract the Omicron variant from severe Covid cases, a World Health Organization (WHO) official says.
The official explains that the first lab tests of the new variant in South Africa suggest it can partially evade the Pfizer jab.
Experts believe that people who are fully vaccinated will still be well-protected against severe illness caused by Omicron, even if they’re more likely to develop an infection — or reinfection — than with earlier variants.