S.Africa reports record daily COVID-19 cases as Omicron spreads

S.Africa reports record daily COVID-19 cases as Omicron spreads
# 15 December 2021 22:36 (UTC +04:00)

South Africa reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 infections on Wednesday in a fourth wave believed to be largely caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 26,976 new cases in the past 24 hours, surpassing a peak of 26,485 in early July during a third wave driven by the then-dominant Delta strain.

The NICD also reported another 54 COVID-19 related deaths and an additional 620 hospital admissions.

South Africa, the country worst affected by the pandemic on the African continent in terms of confirmed infections and deaths, alerted the world to Omicron in November, triggering alarm that it could cause a global surge in infections.

Omicron has since been detected in more than 70 countries worldwide, with the World Health Organization labelling it "of concern".

Scientists suspect that Omicron is more transmissible given its rapid spread though they caution it's too early to draw definitive conclusions about the severity of the disease that it causes.

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