New coronavirus variant called Omicron

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named the new coronavirus variant first reported in South Africa this week as “Omicron”.

South Africa reported the new variant of the virus causing Covid-19 to the WHO on Wednesday (24 November), while countries like Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong recorded cases soon after.

“This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,” the WHO said in a statement on Friday evening. “Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant,” the organisation added.

Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services in a separate statement said the country is doing genome sequencing tests to establish if the new virus mutation is in Namibia.

“The ministry will continue to monitor the situation, including increasing its surveillance by subjecting positive samples to regular genome sequencing for possible identification of any variant of concern and interest. The ministry will be updating the nation accordingly as it monitors this development,” it stated.

source: The Namibian Newspaper