January 27, 2022
South Africa's new COVID cases double in 1 day amid omicron

South Africa’s new COVID cases double in 1 day amid omicron

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s new cases of COVID-19 practically doubled in a day, authorities reported Wednesday, signaling a dramatic surge in the nation the place scientists detected the omicron variant final week.

New confirmed cases rose to eight,561 Wednesday from 4,373 a day earlier, in response to official statistics.

Scientists in South Africa stated they’re bracing for a speedy improve in COVID-19 cases following the invention of the new omicron variant.

(*1*) Dr. Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, regional virologist for the World Well being Group, advised The Related Press. “There is a possibility that we are going to see a vast increase in number of cases being identified in South Africa.”

South Africa had seen a interval of low transmission in early November with a 7-day common of about 200 new cases per day, however in the center of November new cases started to quickly improve. The new cases reported Wednesday symbolize a 16.5% positivity fee of cases examined, up from a 1% fee early in November.

South Africa’s earlier surge, pushed by the delta variant in June and July, noticed day by day new cases attain a peak of greater than 20,000. With a inhabitants of 60 million individuals, South Africa has recorded greater than 2.9 million COVID-19 cases, together with practically 90,000 deaths.

It is too early to make sure that the omicron variant is accountable for the rise in cases, however it is extremely doable, say specialists. Customary PCR exams can counsel {that a} optimistic case is attributable to omicron, however solely a full genetic sequencing can affirm it.

Labs in South Africa and Botswana are urgently doing genomic sequencing to review omicron cases in order to see whether it is considerably extra transmissible, causes extra severe cases of COVID-19 or if it evades safety from vaccinations, stated Gumede-Moeletsi.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising in South Africa, however not on the dramatic fee of the new cases.

The omicron variant has been detected in 5 of South Africa’s 9 provinces and accounted for 74% of the virus genomes sequenced in November, the nation’s Nationwide Institute for Communicable Illnesses introduced Wednesday.

The earliest detection of the variant in South Africa might have been on Nov. 8 in Gauteng province, in response to information launched by the institute. It stated till the tip of October, the delta variant accounted for many genomes sequenced in the nation, however in November the omicron variant overtook it.


Observe all AP tales on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

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