According to the Botswana government Presidential (COVID-19) Task force press release, the first four Omicron cases were all fully vaccinated individuals.
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According to a public statement by the Botswana government, the new Omicron mutation was first discovered in four people who had received both doses of the COVID vaccine.
The press release from 25th November 2021, titled “New COVID 19 Variant detected in Botswana” says:
The Presidential COVID-19 Task Force informs the public that four (4) cases of a new COVID-19 variant now known as B.1.1.529, were reported and recorded on Monday 22nd November 2021.
The four (4) cases were detected among travellers who tested SARS-COV-2 positive on routine pre travel testing. The variant tests were carried out as part of the routine genomic surveillance of SARS-COV-2 as prescribed in our COVII-19 response plan.
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The preliminary report revealed that all the four had been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. As part of the continuing investigations into the virus to establish and contain its local transmissions, contact tracing has revealed close contacts who are currently awaiting their results and the
public will be informed regarding the outcome of the exercise.
The initial investigations on the virus have established that the new variant has a high number of mulations as compared to the locally predominant Della variant. What this means is still unclear and under investigation.
New variants have the potential to affect severity of disease, how effective tests pick up the disease as well as potentially vaccine efficacy. At this moment, real world impact of the variant has not been established.
Non-pharmaceutical interventions (wearing of masks, social distancing, and avoiding unnecessary travels etc.) remain effective and therefore the public is advised to continue observing these.
The Presidential COVID-19 Task Force wishes to further dispel assertions made by some circulating social media reports associating these cases with HIV+ status of the participants.
Contrary to these reporls, in which one newspaper claims that one case was from an HIV+ participant, is totally false as no HIV status of the clients was associated with these results. These media reports are unfortunate and factually flawed and should be viewed as such.
The variant is still being studied and investigated and therefore, it would be premature to conclusively make these types of assertions at this time.
The public is urged to take nccessary precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 as advised from time to time.
Read the full press release below:
Meanwhile, contrary to what we’re told the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus results in only mild disease, without prominent symptoms, according to Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association.
“It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well. So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home”, Coetzee said.