Uganda has confirmed nine cases of the Omicron COVID-19, results released by the Uganda Virus Research Institute indicate.
All the results were of samples of travelers that were tested at Entebbe International Airport.
According to Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the Executive Director of UVRI, the cases were detected among travelers from Nigeria and South Africa.
“The variant detected was from travelers from Nigeria and South Africa. We are still carrying out more testing,” Prof Kaleebu noted.
The Omicron Variant is feared to be more virulent and infectious due to the 32 mutations in its spike protein. In South Africa where the variant was first detected in November, the number of new COVID-19 infections has increased by 311 percent according to the World Health Organization. The variant is believed to be behind the increase in cases.
Despite the detected cases, Prof Kaleebu urges the public not to worry or panic.
“This variant spreads like any other COVID-19 variant we have seen. It has the same outcome as the delta and can be prevented the same way. People should not panic. They can prevent infection by wearing their masks, washing their hands frequently, and avoiding crowded places,” he said.
The Minister of Health has confirmed that they received information on Monday, indicating that 7 people tested positive for Omicron Variant. 5 came from Nigeria and 2 from South Africa and they are all being monitored.