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BREAKING: Uganda Confirms Covid19 Omicron Variant Cases

Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng. Courtesy Photo

Uganda has confirmed nearly 10 cases of the new Omicron variant of Covid19 that originated from South Africa have been reported in Uganda.

The WHO has termed the Omicron, first reported in Southern Africa weeks ago, a variant of concern because of its several mutations.

But it remains unclear whether the variant causes severe infection.

A SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance report dated December 06 has now confirmed almost 10 cases of the Omicron variant in Uganda.

A total of 11 out of the 13 SARS-Cov-2 PCR positive samples collected from travelers arriving at Entebbe International Airport on November 29, 2021, had been sequenced by surveillance experts using the Illumina Miseq next generation sequencing platform or Covidseq assay kit.

The samples were from travellers who had come from from Nigeria (05), UAE (02), South Africa (02), DR Congo (01) and Ethiopia (01).

They had travelled using Ethiopian Airways, Uganda Airlines, Kenya Airlines and Airlink.

The sequencing confirmed the Omicron variant in seven — equivalent to 64 per cent — out of the 11 SARS-CoV-2 of the positive samples.

“We report for the first-time detection of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) in Uganda from samples taken from travelers arriving in the country through Entebbe International airport,” said the experts in their report.

Here is what we know about the Omicron variant and Uganda’s plan to deal with it.

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