Covid-19: Botswana detects new variant

Tuesday April 12 2022
Covid-19 test.

A medical worker collects a sample for Covid-19 testing. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


Botswana has detected a new coronavirus variant in the sub-lineage of the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Health and Wellness announced Monday.

It said the country´s scientists have been investigating new coronavirus mutations that have so far been detected in four people.

So far, the southern African country with 2.4 million people, has recorded 305,526 Covid-19 cases, 2,686 deaths and 302,476 recoveries.

“The preliminary finding of this new sub-lineage in Botswana has been designated as Omicron BA.4 and BA.5,” Dr Christopher Nyanga, the country´s Ministry of Health and Wellness Permanent Secretary, said in a statement.

The variant was detected among four people – two residents and two non-residents – aged between 30 and 50 years, with a recent travel history.

The four cases are currently being monitored to gather more information about the potential impact on disease spread and severity, he said.


 “The quartet are fully vaccinated and have been experiencing only mild symptoms,” Dr Nyanga said.

He added that the new variant has also been reported in three other countries. He, however, did not name the countries.