COVID 19: Despite Omicron surge, more cases in South Africa have mild symptoms
New Delhi : Omicron cases in South Africa are surging at a fast pace but only a few people are requiring hospitalization in the nation, said a report on Thursday. Most of the patients were found with mild symptoms.
The country recorded 11,535 new cases Thursday, mostly in the epicenter Gauteng, the province home to the biggest city Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria.
The new number of infections is five times the number of cases which were being reported a week ago. The good news amid this is that there is no hike in the death rate or hospitalization.
The experts said that there is much to learn about the new infection yet, but the major credit must go to the vaccinations which prevented severe illness among the people.
"There is an increase in Covid-19 admissions, but not to the point we have seen" in previous outbreaks, said Mary Kawonga, a doctor who heads a provincial Covid advisory council.
"Hospitalisations are increasing by a much lower rate than the cases and at much lower rate than we saw in the third wave," she told a news conference.
While only about one in four South Africans are fully vaccinated, the rates are higher among older people who are mostly prone to suffer serious illness if they become infected.
"We believe the number of cases will increase exponentially in all provinces of the country," said Anne von Gottberg, an expert at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
Meanwhile, Indian government has also claimed that the need of the hour is to increase vaccinations and make people fully vaccinated against the virus.
Last week, South Africa had notified new variant of coronavirus – Omicron, and claimed that it was highly transmissible. Several nations implemented travel restrictions soon after that to stop spread of the coronavirus.