SA Covid: More in hospital but not clear if Omicron is more severe

While hospital admissions in South Africa have risen sharply because of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, it is not yet clear if it causes more severe illness, according to comments by Health Minister Joe Phaahla.

Journalist Mia Malan says that the latest figures show that hospital admissions because of the virus have increased by more than 200% this week, compared to last week.

In a series of tweets highlighting the minister’s comments, she also said that the reproductive number – sometimes called the ‘R rate’ – for Omicron is 2.5. In other words, on average, one person infects another 2.5 people.

This is higher than with Delta, reflecting a theory that it is more transmissible.

On Thursday, South Africa recorded more than 22,000 Covid-19 infections. This is a high figure, but below the high-point of 26,000 daily infections reported during the previous wave of infections, the Reuters news agency reports.

About 38% of South Africans have been vaccinated against coronavirus.

Source: bbc

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