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Number of Omicron cases in Africa increase

 Nigeria is the latest country in Africa to report confirmed cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and CAS Mercy Mwangangi during a past media briefing.  Kenya has not imposed travel restrictions from southern African countries, the epicentre of Omicron variant of Covid-19. Photo/FILE

The WHO named the variant B.1.1.529. "This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,", the UN public health body said.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Wednesday that the cases were from passengers who had travelled to South Africa and returned home. This was done through genomic sequencing.

South Africa was the first country in the world to report Omicron cases which scientists believe was first detected in Botswana.

The UK and Australia have imposed travel restricts from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and Eswatini.

The US said foreigners will be blocked from traveling from the affected southern African countries.

Cases outside Africa

Other regions that the Omicron variant has been detected outside Africa are Hong Kong, Belgium and Israel.

Kenya is among countries that have not closed its borders over new Covid-19 variant.

Morocco is the only African country which has completely shut its borders in fear of the highly mutating Covid variant.

Angola and Egypt have closed their borders to travellers from the southern African countries which are the epicentre of Omicron variant.

Only citizens and residents with special permits can enter China as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The US is among countries that have temporarily closed its borders over Omicron variant of Covid-19.


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