WHO says surge team deployed in S.Africa's Gauteng to tackle Omicron

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A healthcare worker collects a swab from a passenger for a PCR test against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before traveling to Uganda, amidst the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron, at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 28, 2021. REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham

NAIROBI, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) is deploying a surge team to South Africa's Gauteng province, epicentre of the outbreak of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, to help with surveillance and contact tracing, it said on Thursday.

The WHO's Regional Emergency Director for Africa, Salam Gueye, also said it was providing technical assistance to boost the production and distribution of medical oxygen in Botswana, where Omicron has also been detected.

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Reporting by Katharine Houreld and Estelle Shirbon; editing by John Stonestreet

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