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Epidemiologist: Omicron will drive daily cases to 10,000 this week in South Africa

20 11 0

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — The newly discovered Omicron variant is likely to fuel a surge in South Africa’s coronavirus cases that could see daily infections treble this week, a top epidemiologist warned Monday.

Health monitors reported over 2,800 new infections on Sunday, up from a daily average of 500 in the previous week and 275 the week before.

“We can expect that higher transmissibility is likely and so we are going to get more cases quickly,” Dr. Salim Abdool Karim said at an online health ministry press briefing.

“I am expecting we will top over 10,000 cases by the end of the week per day [and] see pressure on hospitals within the next two, three weeks.”

South African scientists announced the new highly mutated variant on Thursday, blaming it for a sudden rise in infections in Africa’s worst-hit nation.

Hospital admissions more than doubled over the past month in Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province and the epicenter of the new outbreak, according to official figures.


© The Times of Israel

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