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Uganda confirms first cases of Omicron Covid variant

An Ugandan prison officer receives the first injection of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Mulago referral hospital in Kampala, on the first day of vaccination   -  
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BADRU KATUMBA/AFP or licensors


People in Uganda queued up outside vaccination centers in the capital Kampala on Wednesday, a day after the country confirmed its first cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

The virus was detected in seven travellers from South Africa and Nigeria who arrived at Entebbe International Airport on November 29 and are currently in isolation.

Those affected were said to display only mild symptoms.

The arrival of the new variant has driven some previously vaccine-hesitant Ugandans to get a jab.

At the Kampala Capital City Authority mass vaccination site, several first-timers reported for their first jab fearing the country could return to the scenes witnessed during the second wave of the pandemic.

Around 7.6 million doses have been administered in Uganda since the rollout began in early 2021.

The confirmation of omicron cases in Uganda means the new variant has been found in at least nine African countries.

South Africa remains the epicenter of the omicron outbreak, with experts saying that the overwhelming majority of its thousands of new cases per day are of the new variant.

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