On Monday, the United States will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi based on the discovery of a new coronavirus variant dubbed the omicron variant.
According to the Botswana government, the variant was first detected in four “fully vaccinated” individuals and has been reported by some sources as three times more contagious than prior variants.
Botswana revealed that the new variant “was detected on four foreign nationals who had entered Botswana on the 7th November 2021, on a diplomatic mission.”
Official opinion on the new variant is, well, varied. The Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo remarked that the variant should be called “COVID-21” instead of “COVID-19” because of its danger. Yet South African medical chief Dr. Angelique Coetzee said that she has only seen “very mild cases” of the omicron variant of the virus.