3 Omicron variant cases reported in Kenya
Kenyan health officials have confirmed the country's first cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, just days after the Ministry of Health warned that the positivity rate was rising.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe made the confirmation on Wednesday, saying the variant had been detected in three passengers who have since been quarantined.
He was speaking during a consultative meeting with the Council of Governors at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort to discuss health policy and legislative barriers.
"We have detected the Omicron virus among the Travellers and it will be dominant across the globe," CS Kagwe said.
"We are carrying out sequencing to see it's spread. We expect it to become the dominant variant globally. We should all get vaccinated. Those vaccinated are not getting severe sickness," he said.
The CS warned that the variant was highly virulent and infectious, saying that for instance, a single carrier can infect an entire night club.
Kenya has yet to consider stringent measures to contain the disease's spread, according to the Health Ministry's boss, who claims that science, not emotions, will ultimately guide decisions.
"There are a lot of countries going on lockdown because of Mmicron. How many people are dying? it’s low, how many are infected?" CS Kagwe pose.
According to CS Kagwe, epidemiologists have ruled out lockdowns as the silver bullet for the variant that has sparked global concern.
The Ministry of Health boss said 95 percent of those who have been hospitalized have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccine.
The Omicron variant has been found in at least 63 countries around the world, according to the WHO.
It was first detected in samples in Southern Africa, but has since also been seen across Europe and elsewhere.
The WHO says the Omicron variant appears to have a “growth advantage” over the Delta variant, which was previously the fastest spreading “variant of concern” of the virus.