None of the Omicron variant cases identified so far have required hospitalisation or oxygen support, assistant Health Minister, Sethomo Lelatisitswe told Parliament today.
The symptoms seen thus far are not like the Delta variant, which drove Botswana’s third wave causing a record 573 deaths in July, he said.
According to the assistant minister, of the 15 cases still in Botswana, three showed mild symptoms while the rest did not. Eleven of the cases were vaccinated, while those unvaccinated did not show symptoms. All identified cases still in Botswana are in their final days of isolation and will be released soon, Lelatisitswe said.
Four initial cases, which were foreign nationals on a diplomatic mission, left the country after their diagnosis.
“This does not mean we are not taking the variant very seriously and our scientists are studying it closely. Over the next two to three weeks, we are pushing so that every positive case that is detected undergoes genomic sequencing so that we can gauge how far the new variant is growing,” Lelatisitswe said.
Botswana was the first country to detect the new variant, with genomic sequencing completed on November 24.
The country’s COVID-19 cases however remain low with an update from the government this evening showing 602 active cases as at November 26. The country has thus far fully vaccinated 33.3 percent of adults, with 60.2 percent having received their first dose.