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Health minister Aceng to address nation about new COVID-19 variant Omicron

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Health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng to address nation about new COVID-19 variant Omicron

Health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng to address nation about new COVID-19 variant Omicron

The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, will on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, address the country about the COVID-19 variant Omicron.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona said the minister will also list measures to curb its importation into the country.

On November 26, 2021, WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern on the advice of the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE). This decision was based on the evidence presented to the TAG-VE that Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes.

It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta. The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors.

The UK has introduced new travel conditions for six African countries, including South Africa, due to growing concern over the newly discovered coronavirus variant.

Last Friday, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini were added to the travel red list and flights from those countries would be temporarily banned, he said on Thursday.

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