Zimbabwe finds first omicron case after announcing quarantine

Zimbabwe has identified its first case of the omicron variant of Covid-19, a day after announcing a 10-day mandatory quarantine of all travelers entering the country.

“We are doing the genomic sequencing,” Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the southern African nation’s health minister, told a meeting of farmers Thursday in the capital, Harare. “We have already identified that we now have it in this country.”

Chiwenga did not provide further details on the origins of the case.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday gazetted rules imposing quarantine on all travelers entering the country, including returning residents. Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who work and live in neighboring South Africa, which was first to disclose detection of the new variant on Nov. 25., are expected to travel home over Christmas.

“We want everyone to be safe so let’s be vaccinated and then let’s follow the protocols,” Chiwenga said. “We don’t want to end up putting extra measures” in place, he said.

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