Omicron cases in South Africa reportedly rise by 403% in one week

Mark Drakeford announces new Covid measures for Wales. image: wikimedia

Omicron cases in South Africa reportedly rise by 403% in one week

Tulio de Oliveira, a leading virologist in South Africa has spoken of the surge in cases of Omicron in the country in the past week. He claims that since their scientists first detected the new coronavirus variant around two weeks ago, there has been an increase of 403 per cent in confirmed cases in just one week. The new spike started after some student parties in Pretoria apparently.

The virologist also pointed out that from all testing carried out across South Africa, more than ten per cent return a positive result. Yesterday, Tuesday, November 30, a further 4,473 cases were confirmed, which is 92 per cent higher than on Monday 29. He pointed out that of all those hospitalised, the biggest majority are unvaccinated.

Posing on Twitter, De Oliveira said, “Goodness me! Scary increase of cases and positivity rate in South Africa. Please keep safe, use a mask, and go for vaccination, as 1000s of scientists in the world try to understand better”.

Data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa revealed that during the last 24 hours, a total of 42,664 tests were carried out. Out of these, 4.473 came back positive. Compared to the 868 cases recorded last Tuesday 23, that is an almighty 403 per cent jump in the figures.

Gauteng province – particularly the city of Pretoria – is said to have the highest Omicron infection rate, according to the NICD. “Most of our daily increases at this stage are from Gauteng, at about 81 per cent,’  the head of the division of public health surveillance and response at the NICD, Dr Michelle Groome, said.

Another NICD specialist, Dr Waasila Jassat, added, “We may need to look at paediatric bed preparedness”, as he warned of the high number of children aged under two catching the virus.

Young people in South Africa have reportedly been slow to come forward for the jabs, with just 41 per cent of over-18s currently vaccinated. Experts are warning that this younger age group have been among the worst hit. This has led to three universities in the country making vaccines mandatory for students next year.

Professor of public health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, Mosa Moshabela, commented, “I do think that the decision that South Africa is going to have to make is probably around mandatory vaccination”, as reported by dailmail.co.uk.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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