South Africa's new Covid 19 Omicron cases doubled in a single day


South Africa
A woman is tested for COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1021. Photo / AP

South Africa's new Covid-19 cases nearly doubled in a single day, authorities revealed Wednesday, indicating a rapid increase in the country where scientists discovered the omicron strain last week.

According to official statistics, new confirmed cases increased to 8561 on Wednesday, up from 4373 the previous day.

South African scientists have warned of a significant spike in Covid-19 cases in the wake of discovering the novel Omicron strain.

"There is a possibility that really we're going to be seeing a serious doubling or tripling of the cases as we move along or as the week unfolds," Dr. Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, the World Health Organization's regional virologist, told The Associated Press. "There is a possibility that we are going to see a vast increase in the number of cases being identified in South Africa."

In early November, South Africa experienced a low transmission period, with an average of roughly 200 new cases per day during seven days. Still, new cases began to climb in the middle of the month rapidly. Wednesday's newly reported cases reflect a 16.5 percent positivity rate for all cases tested, up from a 1% rate in early November.

South Africa's last surge, fueled by the Delta variety, saw daily new cases reach a peak of almost 20,000 in June and July. With a population of 60 million, South Africa has reported over 2.9 million Covid-19 cases, including approximately 90,000 deaths.

Although it is too early to say if the Omicron variation is to blame for the increase in instances, researchers believe it is highly plausible. While standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests can hint that Omicron causes a positive case, only complete genetic sequencing can prove this.

South African and Botswana laboratories are urgently sequencing omicron cases to see whether it is much more transmissible, produces more severe instances of Covid-19, or evades vaccination protection, according to Gumede-Moeletsi.

"The data that we now have is really restricted. Thus, there are numerous additional properties of this virus that experts are examining, one of which is transmissibility. Another is severity "She said that researchers must also determine whether current immunizations will be effective against it.

In South Africa, hospitalizations for Covid-19 are increasing, but not at the same rate as new cases.

The omicron variation was found in five of South Africa's nine provinces and was responsible for 74% of virus genomes sequenced in November, the country's National Institute for Communicable Diseases revealed on Wednesday.

According to data supplied by the institute, the variant was first detected in South Africa on November 8 in Gauteng province. According to the report, the Delta variant accounted for most genomes sequenced in the country until the end of October, but the Omicron version surpassed it in November.

Publish : 2021-12-02 12:41:00

Give Your Comments