DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Friday night confirmed that there is the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron in the east African nation.
"Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant which spreads fast, is already in our country," President Hassan announced when she addressed the nation to bid farewell 2021 and to welcome the New Year.
In her address televised live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, the head of state reminded people to continue observing precaution measures given by health experts.
As the world is now experiencing the fourth wave of the pandemic, the president advised people to vaccinate against COVID-19, saying the vaccines are available free of charge.
The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021, causing global alarm, with countries limiting travel and imposing other restrictions for fear it could spread quickly even in vaccinated populations.
The World Health Organization has warned that the Omicron variant was spreading at a rate not seen with previous strains and was likely present in most countries. Enditem