Nine African countries reporting omicron cases amid travel bans

Nine African countries are reporting omicron coronavirus cases amid travel bans imposed on the region by multiple nations.

Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have all reported omicron cases since the variant was first announced in South Africa at the end of Nov., The Associated Press reported.

Uganda’s first cases were reported on Tuesday.

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Namibia has detected 18 new cases, none of which have required hospitalization, according to the country’s health minister. 

South Africa has added thousands of omicron cases a day, with the variant making up the majority of new cases in the country, according to the AP. 

The cases come as many countries have placed travel restrictions on southern African countries to try to mitigate the spread of omicron. 

The U.S. implemented a ban on travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi quickly after the omicron variant was announced.

The World Health Organization has blasted countries for banning travel from some African countries.

The White House has defended its decision to restrict travel, saying more information is needed about the variant before the U.S. drops its ban. 

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Scientists are still working to determine how transmissible the variant is and if it can evade immunization gained from current coronavirus vaccines. 

Infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFans attending Super Bowl LVI to be given KN95 masks The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Breaking: Justice Breyer to retire Serena Williams, Fauci among 'Portrait of a Nation' honorees MORE said Sunday he is hoping the travel ban will be lifted soon. 

“As we're getting more and more information about cases in our own country and worldwide we're looking at that very carefully on a daily basis. Hopefully we'll be able to lift that ban within a quite reasonable period of time,” Fauci told co-host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperPelosi says she will run for reelection in 2022 Biden frustration with Fox News breaks through surface The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration MORE on CNN’s “State of the Union.”