Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced that it is currently investigating certain mutations of the SARS COV-2 virus, also known as B.1.1.529, which has been reported in the international media.

A statement issued by the Ministry, signed by Dr. Christopher Nyanga for the Permanent Secretary, indicated that four cases of the new variant were identified by local scientists as part of a routine genomic surveillance.

“This new virus was detected on four foreign nationals who had entered Botswana on the 7th November, 2021, on a diplomatic mission. The quartet tested positive for COVID-19 on the 11th November, 2021 as they were preparing to return. Further genomic sequencing that was conducted in the samples confirmed that virus as B.1.1. 529 on 24 November, 2021”, a statement from the Ministry explained.

Botswana records new COVID-19 variant; urges calm as investigations continue

The Botswana Ministry of Health stated that “although all four have left the country, contact tracing is still ongoing.”

The tracing has also proven that, all those who came into the contact with the infected nationals are safe, having tested negative for the virus.

The Ministry assured that efforts are being put in place to understand the nature of the new variant, and stop the possibility of any new infections.

Members of the public have thus been urged not to panic but remain calm and continue to adhere to all Covid-19 protocols.

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