Omicron is ‘rapidly becoming the dominant variant in South Africa’: Coronavirus Plague cases double in a day as test positivity climbs to 16.5% and daily hospital admissions rise by a quarter

South Africa’s Covid cases double in a day, but hospital admissions remain flat amid fears of an Omicron-driven wave of infections.

Data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) shows 8,561 new Covid cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, a jump of 95.8 per cent in a single day and 571.5 per cent in a week.

Cases have been soaring in the country since the super mutant Omicron variant emerged, which experts say appears to be more infectious than Delta and has mutations that may allow it to dodge vaccine protection.

South African scientists said the strain was ‘rapidly becoming dominant’ in a briefing on the new figures, adding: ‘The mutation profile and epidemiological picture suggests Omicron is able to get around some of our immune protection (to cause infection) but the protection against severe disease and death from vaccines should be less affected.’

Some 51,977 people in the country took a Covid test and 16.5 per cent of them tested positive for the virus. For comparison, 10.2 per cent of tests taken yesterday were positive and last Wednesday the figure stood at just 3.6 per cent.

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Source: Daily Mail