South Africa’s Omicron crisis is not slowing down. Daily infections have nearly tripled in one week. 

In the past 24 hours, the National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported an additional 6,381 cases. This is 180 percent more than the number last Monday.

Although this was lower than yesterday’s 11,000 figure, tens to thousands fewer tests were performed. 

In the meantime, hospital admissions increased by 175 to 175 and Covid death rates have fallen slightly. 

Experts warn that the super-strain driving today’s latest wave of cannabis could quickly become the dominant strain in the UK within weeks.

While it’s not known what effect the strain will have upon severe illnesses, hospitalisations, and deaths, experts worry that the mutations in this strain could make it difficult to avoid two doses Covid jabs or previous infections.  

So far doctors are reporting mild cases.

However, experts caution that this variant could also spread among young people. The lag time between becoming infected and being seriously ill may be masking how severe the disease is. 


South Africa's cases have skyrocketed since Omicron was first discovered. Last month, the country recorded 358 daily cases, compared to the 6,381 registered today. The daily figure is the lowest since Tuesday, but is due to low testing rates over the weekend, with just 24,159 people swabbed yesterday. The positivity rate — the proportion of all tests conducted that are confirmed Covid cases — rose to a record 26.4 per cent

South Africa’s case numbers have risen dramatically since Omicron first became known. This month the country saw 358 new cases per day, as opposed to 6,381 currently registered. Although the daily rate is lower than Tuesday’s, this is due to the low number of people who were screened yesterday. The positivity rate — the proportion of all tests conducted that are confirmed Covid cases — rose to a record 26.4 per cent

Some 175 South Africans were hospitalised with the virus, up 121.5 per cent on the 79 people admitted to hospital last Monday. The number of patients in hospital with the virus is at 3,517, up 51.1 per cent in a week. Pictured: graph shows weekly Covid hospitalisations

The virus was found in 175 South Africans, an increase of 121.5 percent on the number of 79 patients admitted last Monday. In a single week, there are 3,517 people in hospitals with the virus. This is an increase of 51.1 percentage. Image: The graph displays weekly Covid hospitalisations

Christmas optimism boosted by study showing that ‘70%’ of Omicron have NOT evolved to evade vaccinations or natural immunity. 

Existing Covid jabs and prior infection should still protect people against severe illness from the Omicron super variant, according to a study hailed by one of No10’s top health chiefs.

It was discovered that the new strain of virus has tripled the number of micro-mutations than Delta. However, large areas remain susceptible to the immune system. 

Italian researchers used a mathematical model of Omicron to predict how easily the virus would be detected by the human body, in an unprecedented amount of spike protein alterations.

They found that about 70 per cent of the spike had not evolved to evade vaccines or natural immunity and in theory will still be targeted by the immune system of a vaccinated or recently-infected person. 

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency and key No10 advisor, said the finding signalled a ‘glass half full’ scenario, with the variant unlikely to make jabs redundant like previously feared.

However, the immunologist raised concerns that Omicron contains three times more modifications to virus parts that are targeted in antibodies and T cells (known as epitopes) than any other variant. 

South Africa’s case numbers have risen dramatically since Omicron was discovered. 

The country had 358 more cases than the 6.381 currently registered.

Although the daily average is lower than Tuesday’s, this is due to the low number of people who were swabbed over the weekend (24,159).

The positivity rate — the proportion of all tests conducted that are confirmed Covid cases — rose to a record 26.4 per cent.

For comparison, the UK’s positivity rate on December 1 was 4.3 per cent — with 1.2million tests conducted and more than 51,000 testing positive.

The vast majority of cases remain concentrated in the Gauteng province, the epicentre of the outbreak, where 4,488 cases were recorded. 

KwaZulu-Natal, in the east, recorded 635 cases, while Mpumalanga in the north east, registered 337 infections.

The highly evolved variant, which is a combination of increased infectiousness, vaccine resistance, and antibody escape has been shown to be three-and-a half times more likely that Delta. This according to real world data 

In the meantime, 175 South Africans have been hospitalized with the virus. This is an increase of 121.5 percent from the 79 patients admitted last Monday.

Hospitalizations for patients with the virus have increased by 51.1 percent in just one week to 3,517.

Meanwhile, nine deaths were recorded — a drop of 64 per cent compared to last Monday’s figure. 

South African physicians insist most of their patients are suffering from mild disease. The top Covid specialist Dr Anthony Fauci claims that today’s claim ‘doesn’t appear like it’s very severe’.  

However, British scientists including those from the Government have been critical of this narrative, saying that it’s a weaker strain and that the NHS could be under significant pressure due to the fact that it infects more people. 

One mathematical modeller predicted there could be up to 3,000 hospital admissions per day in the UK in January if Omicron takes off domestically — compared to the 4,000 per day at the peak last year.

It comes as the UK recorded 51,459 new cases in the last 24 hours which was a fifth more than last Monday and the third time in a week that they have breached the 50,000 mark. The number of deaths was also up by 17% compared with a week ago.

On Sunday, another 290,165 booster shots were administered across the nation, far less than No10’s target of 500,000 per day last week in order to protect against the Omicron wave. 

This is the image that has sparked fear among scientists, prompted ministers to turbocharge the UK's booster vaccine rollout and seen the return of mask mandates in England. It details the new super-mutant Omicron variant's spike protein mutations which experts fear will make it the most infectious and vaccine-resistant strain yet. The graphic, released by the country's top variant monitoring team, also lays bare how it is far more evolved than even the world-dominant Delta strain, with nearly five times as many alterations on the spike

This image has caused fear in scientists and prompted ministers at the UK to accelerate the rollout of booster vaccines. In England, mask mandates have returned. Experts fear that the super-mutant Omicron Omicron variant will be the most dangerous and vaccine-resistant yet. This graphic was released by the nation’s leading variant monitoring team. It also shows how the strain is more advanced than the Delta strain. There are nearly five times the number of modifications to the spike. 

In total, there are 46,000 Covid cases on average each day in the UK and data from the Covid Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) suggests the new strain is already behind around one in 66 of them, or 1.4 per cent

There are approximately 46,000 Covid cases per day in Britain. Data from Covid Genomics UK Consortium suggests that the new strain may be behind about one-third of those 66, which is 1.4 percent.

A mere 20% of the 12-15 year olds in London have been given their first Covid shot.

According to statistics, less than one fifth of London children have had their first Covid vaccine.

The whole programme was plagued by cancellations and delays. Some critics claim that the program’s inability to allow children into schools originally hampered it.

Labour has called on No10 for the ‘turbocharge’ campaign to support younger age groups based upon up-to-date NHS data.

Hackney has the lowest rate of vaccination for children aged 12-15 years old; only 19.8% have received their first shot. Capital is the most performing area.

The rates in the more wealthy areas of the country are comparable. Fareham in Hampshire has 67% of the children who are jabbed, while South Oxfordshire’s rate is 64.33% and the New Forest (64.1%), both in Hampshire.

Bridget Phillipson (Shadow Education Secretary), was elevated to Labour’s frontbench this week. She today called on ministers to create more clinics for walk-ins in order to give jabs to children. Six in ten children nationwide have yet to receive their first shot. 

Today, there were 90 additional confirmed cases in England and Scotland of this variant. This brings the total UK to 336, and is increasing by nearly a third per day. 

Experts warn that the actual number of Omicron cases will exceed 1,000 as not all positive specimens are sequenced. Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary of England, confirmed today that Omicron has been transmitted in multiple areas of England. 

Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert from the University of East Anglia said that it would be the dominant variant within the next few weeks or months. This is based on the rapid pace at which it has outpaced Delta in South African epicentre.

He stated that while the timeline doesn’t suggest there will be any additional curbs on Christmas, it does leave room for some restrictions in the New Year.

Boris Johnson, however, refused today to exclude tougher Covid restrictions over Christmas. He simply stated that this year’s Christmas would be “better” than the previous one. 

In two weeks, he will review current measures. On a visit to Merseyside, Mr Johnson stated that he was still waiting for information about how hazardous it is and what effect it will have on deaths and hospitalisations. 

Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at the University of Reading, said it was ‘entirely possible’ that Omicron could trigger a wave of hospital admissions on par with the peak in January 2021 — even if it is milder than Delta.

MailOnline spoke to him: “It isn’t unusual for a less transmissible, yet more deadly pathogen to pose a greater problem than one that’s less fatal.” Even if it is infecting a high number of patients, but hospitalizing a smaller percentage, there could be a substantial increase in the hospitalizations. 

Clarke stated that Omicron scientists were putting at risk the possibility of ‘whitewashing’ its dangers. They also created a false sense security for people by claiming it to be a mild condition. Clarke said that Britons may not be able to get their boosters or adjust their behavior if the strain is mild. This claim he doubts.