New COVID-19 variant detected in Botswana, Namibia busy doing genomic surveillance
Local health authorities are currently working closely with the University of Namibia (UNAM) for genomic surveillance and testing of samples from school clusters, following the detection of a new COVID-19 variant in Botswana, an official said Wednesday in Windhoek.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula during the country’s 42nd COVID-19 public update statement said 37 samples have been submitted for genomic sequencing to test for the variants.
“On April 11, 2022, Botswana announced the presence of a new sublineage of Omicron variant in four individuals, which has been designated as Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. This sub-lineage of Omicron has been detected previously in South Africa, Denmark, Scotland and England from Jan. 10, 2022,” he explained.
According to Shangula, this variant is still being studied in terms of disease spread and virulence.
Meanwhile, during the nation’s brief, Namibia’s President, Hage Geingob urged the nation to get vaccinated ahead of winter.
According to Geingob all of Namibia’s public health measures will remain unchanged and are extended to 15 May.