South African health officials urged the public on Monday don’t panic over the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which seems to float new golf of cases in the country.
It’s still too soon, they said, to make solid reviews of of Omicron one has higher rate of transmission of want cause more hospital admissions of severe disease.
“We just don’t have sound, reliable data on the clinical presentation,” said Salim Abdool Karim, a leading epidemiologist and HIV/AIDS researcher who is a part of the countries public health response to the coronavirus pandemic. “But we haven’t raised any red flags so far.”
Scientists are rushing to discover the effect of the cluster of seen mutations in the Omicron variant. Yet mutations are comparing with die of other “variants” of concern” identified by the World Health Organization suggests that Omicron can be expected to have improved transmissibility and a certain level of immune escapesaid Mr Karim.
The care in South Africa was asked in partly due to a sudden increase in the countries test positivity rate, die rose to almost 10 percent from 1 percent, according to data released by the National Institute of South Africa for Communicable diseases.
The increase is largely due to business in Gauteng Province, a densely populated economic center home to Johannesburg, said Michelle Groome, head of public health surveillance and response to the institute. but based on the data, the number of new registered cases is still lower in South Africa, relative to its population, then in many Europeans countries.
The administrative capital of the country, Pretoria, where 219 people are included in the hospital with Covid, is central of the new wave, according to data from the institute. But scientists not yet know how a lot of of these hospital admissions were a direct result of Omicron.
While new hospital admissions are still relatively low, there is a “steep” rise” over the past two weeks, said Waasila Jassat, a public health specialist at the National Institute for Communicable diseases.
The rate of the number of fatalities has not increased, Ms Jassat said. While new cases were: highest between people under 35 were hospitalized more common between people over 65 and whole young children.
Existing treatments against the coronavirus seemed effective against Omicron, said Mr. Karim, although there was not enough data yet on the efficacy of monoclonal antibodies, die rarely used to treat COVID-19 in South Africa.
It is also still too early to know of the potential of the variant justifies tightened precautions like trip bans, scientists said.
In a separate briefing on Sunday, Botswana’s health minister, Edwin Dikoloti, said that most of the 19 Omicron cases die have been detected in his country were ‘imported’ and that the… first four were diplomats who had already left the country.
He criticized early references to Omicron as the ‘Botswana variant’, saying that ‘detection was treated as origin’.
Mr Dikoloti said that: new cases of coronavirus had been declining in Botswana, and that “the emergence of this variant” threatened “all winnings die we have to undo” made over the months.”
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