Zambia on Saturday confirmed the presence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the southern African nation.
Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo said the variant was detected in the country's genomic sequencing laboratory in three people who tested positive in the last week.
She told reporters during a press briefing that the variant was detected in two male adults with a history of travelling out of the country and one female who initially presented mild flu-like symptoms as an out-patient at one of the hospitals in Lusaka, the country's capital but had no history of international travel.
The health minister urged people to strictly adhere to preventive health measures.
"The responsibility to contain the COVID-19 and prevent further transmission and related disease starts with the individual and requires concerted efforts by communities and institutions," she said.
The omicron variant has been reported in many countries. Zambia's cumulative COVID-19 cases currently stand at 2,10,294 as of Friday.
Total deaths and recoveries stand at 3,667 and 2,06,454.