Zambia has recorded eight new cases of the omicron variant.
According to the Ministry of Health, the total number of omicron variant cases in the country now stands at 11.
Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo disclosed this during an update today, saying all the eights cases of the omicron strain were detected in Lusaka province.
Ms Masebo further indicated that out of the eight new cases detected, five had a history of international travel.
“We have detected eight additional cases of the new omicron variant, all from Lusaka, bringing the total to 11 cases so far.” The Minister noted.
She explained that the five who have been detected with the omicron strain are vaccinated, adding that the vaccination has offered protection to the patients.
“The patients are showing common symptoms, which include headache, body pains, cough and abdominal pains.” She said.
The Minister says the first three persons who were detected with the Omicron variant have recovered and tested negative to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Ms Masebo says the government is not considering closing the borders following the detection of the omicron strain in the country.
She said Zambia currently has low cases of the new variant compared to the neighbouring countries.
The Minister stated that in the interim government has heightened surveillance at all crossing points, which is meant to ensure that those coming and going out the country are screened.
The Minister of Health hinted that all those travelling have to get vaccinated 72 hours before travel.
And Ms Masebo has made a passionate appeal to members of the public to get vaccinated.
She encouraged the public to take advantage of the many vaccination centres that have been opened in public places.
Ms Masebo says the vaccines once taken, can help to reduce the severity of the disease.
The Minister has however described the prevailing COVID situation in the country as worrying. Adding that the number of infections is beginning to rise.
She has since implored members of the public to adhere to the five golden rules of maintaining the health guidelines, as well as avoiding unnecessary travel.
And Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) Director Victor Mukonka says the eight who have tested positive to the omicron variant are making good recovery.
Professor Mukonka highlighted that out of the eight, two patients are asymptomatic with mild signs of flu, joint pains and cough-like symptoms, while the six are symptomatic.