Uncertainty as Botswana Detects New Coronavirus Variant

Uncertainty as Botswana Detects New Coronavirus Variant

BY SOURCES,NAIROBI,11TH APRIL,2022-The Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness in collaboration with other stakeholders who have been watching for new coronavirus say they have detected a troubling new lineage that they say is a sub lineage of the Omicron variant.

The variant they are watching, called Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 has already been detected in three other countries and on four people in Botswana.

The infected are currently being monitored to establish more information on the potential impact on the disease and its severity.

Permanent Secretary from the Botswana Health Ministry Dr. Christoper Nyanga however said that the patients are fully vaccinated and have only been showing mild symptoms.

He added that researchers have not yet ascertained if the variant is transmittable or not and they will be testing if the existing COVID-19 vaccines are effective.

“The foursome comprise residents and non-residents aged between 30 and 50 years, two being non-residents who had a recent travel history,” said Dr. Nyanga in a statement to newsrooms on Monday.

“So far no conclusions have been made yet, in relation to whether or not the sub-lineage is more deadly and more transmittable than the known Omicron variant.”

The ministry added that it is awaiting further guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to manage its transmission.

It has called on members of the public to continue being vigilant, further encouraging them take vaccine jabs if eligible.

“At the moment, the ministry calls upon members of the public not to panic but to continue being vigilant,” noted Nyanga.

“The public is further encouraged to vaccinate and take their booster shots, if eligible.”

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