In South Africa, corona infections are rising faster than ever before because of the Omicron variant.
The chief scientist at the South African Institute of Communicable Diseases, Michelle Groome, says that in particular, many more children have been infected than with previous variants.
In Gauteng province, where the variant was discovered, the R number is above 2. This means that each infected person infects more than two people with the virus on average. Groome said at a press conference that more research is needed into the portability and harmfulness of the Omicron variant.
At the same press conference, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that he hopes the mild symptoms now seen with the Omicron variant will continue. However, according to the minister, vaccination is the best protection against Omicron. Therefore, he calls on all South Africans to be fully vaccinated.
Despite the rapid increase in the number of positive cases, hospital care in South Africa is not yet under pressure, according to Phaahla. He hopes that it will remain that way and that the death toll will not increase significantly in the coming period. Therefore, stricter measures are not necessary at the moment, according to the minister.