Zambia has detected its first cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in three people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, the health ministry said.

The three cases are a man living in the district around the capital Lusaka who travelled abroad recently and is showing mild symptoms, a man in Chibombo District who also travelled abroad recently but is asymptomatic, and a woman in Lusaka District who had not travelled abroad recently and had mild symptoms.

The Omicron variant has been detected in 39 countries, up from 23 just two days ago.

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