The Ministry of Health says Uganda has registered an increase in the number of cases of Omicron Covid-19 variant all imported from countries outside Uganda.

A statement by Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services in the Ministry of health, notes that the number of detected omicron cases has increased to 25 up from 7 they initially confirmed on December 7.

“This follows the genomic sequencing of samples obtained from travellers through Entebbe International Airport between November 28 and 29. The cases were imported from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria as per the laboratory findings,” says Mwebesa.

“Majority of these cases are under home isolation in Kampala and Wakiso,” he adds.

Mwebesa says they are yet to confirm and secondary cases in Uganda or any significant shift in transmission or changes in severity of the illness amongst the confirmed COVID-19 cases.

He however notes that since the start of mandatory testing of all passengers at Entebbe International Airport on October 21, the number of positive cases among incoming travelers has increased from a daily average of 6 to 90 in the past seven days including the confirmed imported cases of omicron.

The positive cases are among travelers mainly from Kenya, South Africa, Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda, he notes.

The Omicron variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 25, 2021.

More data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants.

The current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur.

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