Omicron causing sharp rise in new cases in S.Africa, top scientist says

South Africa is facing an “unprecedented rise” in new COVID-19 cases over a short time due to the Omicron variant, top scientist Michelle Groome of South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said on Friday.

Groome told a media briefing that although additional data on the varient detected in the country last month is still needed on the severity and transmissibility of the variant, the country was starting to see infections move from the younger age cohort into older people.

She said it was important for surge preparedness to include pediatric beds and staff as there has been increased admissions among children under four years of age.

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