The number of covid cases in South Africa has risen by 289 Percent in a single week, while the death toll dropped to six per cent over the same time frame according to the most recent figures.

Another 11,125 cases were recorded by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa in just 24 hours. The vast majority of these occurred in Gauteng, an epicentre province.

This 289 Percent increase was seen compared to last Sunday’s 2,858 cases. We don’t know which type of new infections were recorded.

One death was also reported in Omicron, a country that is afflicted by Omicron disease. That’s down from the six announced last week.

NICD data are based on lateral flows and PCR tests that are performed across South Africa daily. The results showed that Gauteng had 7,929 cases of new infection in nine of the country’s provinces.

These latest numbers bring South Africa’s total cases to 3,031,694, and the death toll to 89,966

It comes as the outbreak of the new Covid variant Omicron in the province of Gauteng in South Africa has triggered the sharpest rise in hospitalisations of any previous wave, sparking concerns that a similar outbreak in the UK could overwhelm the NHS.

Gauteng saw over 1,000 hospitalizations in the previous week. That’s quadruple of the two-week ago figure. South Africa, however, recorded 1,802 hospitalisations the week prior to Friday. 

This virus appears more spreadable, with the number of cases increasing from about 300 three weeks back to close to 7,000 over a seven day rolling average.    


A woman is tested for COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Doctors are concerned about the rising number of hospitalisations in the country, particularly in the epicentre Gauteng province

On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, a woman was tested for COVID-19 by the Lenasia South Hospital near Johannesburg. Concerned by the increasing number of hospitalizations across the country, in particular in the epicentre Gauteng Province, doctors are worried.

To show that the official Covid count in the country is accurate, the NICD publishes the graphic below every day. Each province has a bold figure that shows the latest infections. Below is the count of active cases.

Willem Hanekom is the director of South Africa’s Africa Health Research Institute. He said, “The virus spreads extraordinarily quickly in South Africa. This is a much higher rate than the previous, and it appears that it will spread quickly. 

Hanekom stated to Andrew Marr that Omicron is the most common type of case in South Africa. 

Professor Rudo Mathivha from the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, said that ‘we shouldn’t see these types of numbers so early in the wave’. He spoke about a 15 year-old who died of complications caused by Covid. 

“We shouldn’t be treating a child under the age of five who has moderate or severe symptoms and needs supplementary oxygen, high-care intervention, or other medical assistance.” It is this which is worrying me,’ he told the Telegraph. 

Omicron was hit hard by the famine and 21 of its citizens died on Saturday. That’s an 162 percentage increase over last week, when only 8 were reported. 

The latest figures bring the total number of cases in South Africa up to 3,020,569, while the number of deaths have increased to a total of 89,956.

South Africa has seen a dramatic rise in cases due to Omicron’s spread, according scientists. It is now in every province of South Africa.  

Sharing Omicron figures from the Steve Biko/Tshwane District Hospital Complex, she tweeted: ‘Most COVID-19 patients didn’t know they had COVID when they got admitted (they were admitted for another condition).’ 

Public Health officials in Gauteng — where Johannesburg is based — say their R rate has surged to 3.5 from around one a month ago. This means that every 10 people who have been infected by the virus now spread it to 35 more. The R-rate in the UK is currently at 1.6. 

Omicron’s infectivity is undisputed. However, it remains uncertain how it will evade vaccinations or how serious the disease it causes. A pre-print published in the country found the variant was at least two-and-a-half times better at re-infecting people than all other variants.

South Africa’s public health officials and WHO claim that the cases of Omicron are mild. Vaccines for the strain should still prove effective, even though there is not much data. Meaghan Kall from the UK Health Security Agency warns Omicron might be more dangerous than Delta.

After Nicola Sturgeon said six cases could be linked to a Steps concert, fears are growing that the variant is spreading rapidly in Britain. The proportion of cases suspected to be carrying the Omicron variant in England is increasing according to official data. Officials in the UK have confirmed that there are 134 Omicron cases. 

The Covid crisis in Britain has shown mixed results today, with both deaths and hospitalizations declining. According to government data. 

Professor Mark Woolhouse of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group in Modelling (Spi) said to the BBC’s Andrew Marr this morning that the Omicron variant was highly transmissible and is rapidly spreading in South Africa. Early signs indicate it may be expanding rapidly in Britain too.

“Omicron may even be able to take over Delta’s place in the global marketplace if these trends are maintained during the coming months and weeks.

“The Health Security Agency reports that over 100 Omicron cases have been confirmed in the UK. These were reported across the country, but there are likely to be more in London or Scotland.

The National Institute for Communicable Disorders of the nation showed that infections in Gauteng, the epicenter, are on the rise. Infections are also rising in eight other countries’ provinces

The above map shows the percentage change in Covid cases across South Africa today compared to the same time last week. It shows that in eight of the nine provinces infections rocketed by more than 300 per cent week-on-week. The sharpest rise was recorded in Eastern Cape where infections surged 1,068 per cent

This map displays the percent change in Covid cases today across South Africa, compared to last week. This map shows how infections rose more than 300% week-on–week in eight out of the nine provinces. Infections rose by 1,068 percent in the Eastern Cape, which saw the largest increase.

Omicron-related vaccines will continue to be effective despite the fact that they are’very, very bad’. 

Professor Mark Woolhouse from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, (SpiM) stated that “Vaccinologists and immunologists feel this variant can’t escape the vaccines altogether.”

It is crucial to recall that booster vaccinations against the Delta variant (which is a completely different variant) have been very effective. The vaccines not only provide protection against infection, but they also prevent disease, and can even be used to put people into hospital.

“They would be effective even if they were slightly less effective against Omicron.

A Government science advisor has stated that the Omicron variant was’spreading quite rapidly’ in Britain.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which records data, shows that 127 people were infected yesterday. This is down 3.1% from last Saturday’s total number of 131. 

In the nation, however, 42 848 new infections were reported over the 24 hour period, an 8.3% increase on last week’s 39 567.

This is the fourth consecutive day of cases rising in Britain. Officials discovered 75 cases of Omicron variant in England yesterday. The total UK count now stands at 134.  

And the number of people admitted to hospital with the virus also increased 5.6 per cent in a week to 812 on Tuesday, the latest date data is available for. 

Yesterday, 75 more cases of super-mutant Omicron variants were discovered in England. This brings the total Omicron infection in England up to 104. The total Omicron infection in the UK stands at 134. 

The new variant was identified in London, East Midlands and East of England.

Today’s Scotland cases rose by 16 to 29 while Wales declared yesterday that it had found its first case in Cardiff. Northern Ireland does not have any confirmed cases. 

Boris Johnson placed South Africa, along with a number of other countries from southern Africa on the “red list” to stop the variant from’seeding in the UK. Johnson also placed face masks on buses, in schools, shops and public transportation in England. He said that all Omicron case contacts must be isolated for 10 days.

This weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa is hosting a meeting. This alert status requires only that you wear face masks in public and sets some restrictions on large events. 

A hospital worker ensures people practice social distancing as they wait in line to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

While people line up to be vaccinated for COVID-19, they are being assisted by a staff member at Lenasia South Hospital in Johannesburg. This is Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

Data in South Africa shows the R-rate has soared to over three per cent in recent weeks as Omicron took hold in Gauteng province

This graph displays estimates of Gauteng’s R-rate at the epicenter. The graph shows that the R-rate has risen from about one to three per month. That means, every ten infected people are spreading the virus to 35 others. 

The map below shows Omicron cases and locations. After six cases linked to a Steps concert, Nicola Sturgeon warned that the Omicron variant has already spread in Scotland. 

Official data shows that the proportion of positive Covid tests with a mutation synonymous with the highly-evolved strain is on the rise in the UK. Like Alpha, or the 'Kent variant', Omicron has a specific alteration which means it can be detected through PCR tests without the need for genomic sequencing. The proportion of positive tests in England with this so-called S-gene dropout has risen from 0.1 per cent in the past week to 0.3 per cent, the equivalent of one in 330. Scientists said the increase in S-gene dropouts suggests there could be hundreds of Omicron cases that are flying under the radar currently

Official data indicates that there is an increasing number of Covid positive tests for the mutation associated with the highly evolved strain in the UK. Omicron, like Alpha or the ‘Kent variation’, has a particular alteration that can be detected using PCR without the need to perform genomic sequencing. This so-called S gene dropout is responsible for increasing the proportion of Omicron positives in England from 0.1% to 0.3% in the last week, which equals one in 330. Scientists believe that there may be many Omicron cases flying unnoticed at the moment, as evidenced by the rise in S-gene dropsouts. 

South Africa’s test positivity rate — the number of swabs that detect the virus — is running very high, however, with almost a quarter of all swabs picking up the virus. 

It is possible that there may be more illnesses in the community than are being recognized.

The UK’s positivity rate hovers around nine percent. 

Ramaphosa is currently avoiding imposing additional restrictions and instead contemplating plans to inform nationals that they will be receiving two doses.

He insists that the current restrictions can keep the virus away despite rising infection rates.

Oliver Dowden offers some helpful advice to help you get through Christmas. 

Oliver Dowden of the Tory Party insists that people “keep calm” and go ahead with their Christmas celebrations despite Omicron. But Britain’s clubs, pubs, restaurants, and hotels set to lose billions as cancellations keep going on, says Dowden.

Dowden maintained that the guidelines were clear and consistent – even though a multitude of ministers offered contradictory or confusing advice. He also stated, “There is still an Conservative Party Christmas party”

He stated that if Britons adhere to the rules of masking in shops and on public transport, then they are free to kiss any person they wish under the mistletoe.

Boris Johnson warned businesses against cancelling office parties. He also advised caution when his ministers instructed people to wear masks, undergo tests or not snog strangers. This is contrary to Government guidelines.

Sky News’ Mr Dowden said that he believed the message was simple: Keep calm and continue with your Christmas plans. Although we’ve established the appropriate restrictions, it is important to keep calm and continue your Christmas plans.

“I am aware that there are concerns about the new version. The Government took the measures we have already described… We believe those are enough at this stage. People should not change their plans beyond what we suggested.

In the midst of confusion over what to do next, some of Britain’s most important employers such as banks, tech and NHS decided to either cancel or move their festive celebrations online. Now, it is a 50/50 split.

Because of economic ramifications, and the local election campaign which took little into account Covid measures in November, President Obama is likely to be challenged. 

Professor Mary-Ann Davies from the University of Cape Town is an infectious disease specialist and has called for more vaccinations.

According to her, the Sunday Times local paper stated that the single most important thing she could do was increase vaccination coverage in vulnerable populations. This is the place where energy should be focused and not at locking downs.

24% of South Africans received two doses from the Covid vaccine. 67% of UK citizens are double-vaccinated. 

South Africa criticizes the imposition of travel restrictions by Western nations to its country and neighbours. They are deemed an exaggeration.

According to tourism bosses, the cancellation wave that it caused was a nightmare.

Britain has already detected 59 Omicron cases. However, officials state that it’s ‘likely” more will be found in the next few days.

Ms. Sturgeon blamed the Omicron vaint on a Steps concert earlier in this week.

According to the First Minister, six of the 29 confirmed cases were linked with the OVO Hydro event in Glasgow on November 22. This large venue is in the heart of Glasgow. 

There have not been any cases that were linked to the second performance of the pop band at this venue on the next night. 

Today, Nicola Sturgeon urged people to get vaccinated as she got her Covid booster jab but said she cannot guarantee the programme will be free of ‘glitches’ such as people being turned away from appointments.

After receiving her flu jabs in Glasgow, she made the comments. Scotland was experiencing 14 coronavirus-linked deaths as well as 1,257 new cases per hour.  

Ms Sturgeon, who was was given her vaccinations at a sports centre in Easterhouse which is being used as a vaccination site, said: ‘Please come forward for your vaccination. This is the best thing that you can do for yourself, but also to help protect your family and friends.

“If you are still not taking your first or second dose, get it done. We encourage people to take their boosters as soon as possible.

‘We know that the booster vaccination gives you significant added protection – not just marginal added protection – so it really makes a difference.

“That was important before there was a new variation, but it is more relevant now.

Omicron is similar to Alpha and the ‘Kent version’. It has a unique alteration, which can be detected using PCR tests, without the need of genomic sequencing.

England has seen an increase in positive S-gene test results, with a rise of 0.1% in the week before to 0.3% today. This is the equivalent of 1 in 3330. 

According to scientists, the rise in S-gene drops suggests that there may be many Omicron cases under radar.

Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland’s First Secretary.

The above graph shows the percentage of the population fully vaccinated against Covid in South Africa and the UK. It reveals that some 24 per cent of South Africans have already been jabbed, although a higher proportion now have immunity.

This graph displays the Covid vaccine coverage in South Africa and England. This graph shows that around 24% of South Africans were jabbed already, with a greater proportion being protected now.

New images of the Omicron variant's 32 mutations (left) were released yesterday by the Covid Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK). They show the variant's three mutations ¿ H655Y, N679K, and P681H, located in the lower right of the image ¿ that could help the virus sneak into the body more easily

The Covid Genomics UK Consortium(COG-UK) released images yesterday showing the 32 Omicron variant mutations. They show the variant’s three mutations — H655Y, N679K, and P681H, located in the lower right of the image — that could help the virus sneak into the body more easily

Early reports in South Africa suggest that many cases are either completely or mildly symptomatic. However, there is no evidence of an age breakdown. This makes it impossible to determine if the strain has spread to older persons. 

According to the WHO, it’s a mild strain. Christian Lindmeier, a spokesperson for WHO, told journalists in Geneva today: “I haven’t seen any reports about Omicron-related deaths.” 

“We’re gathering all of the evidence. We will discover more as we go.

“The more countries… Keep testing people. And looking at the Omicron variant specifically, we’ll also find more cases and more information. We may even see deaths.

Scientists believe that Omicron is likely to be protected by covid booster jabs

Covid booster vaccines are likely to offer good protection against the Omicron variant, experts behind a major new study say — in the first glimmer of hope since the emergence of the super-strain last week. 

According to the Government funded trial, T-cell immunity responses in the body after the third dose suggest that they continue to provide protection against the risk of death or hospitalization from the new strain. 

This supports the UK’s choice to use Moderna or Pfizer as boosters. Among the best uses of mRNA jabs is the fastest turbocharging T-cell and antibody responses.

It is believed that T-cells offer a greater level of protection and longer term than antibodies, which provide an immediate boost but then fade more quickly.   

Professor Saul Faust is the trial leader and director at the NIHR Clinical Research Facility, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. He said that although we do not fully understand the relationship to long-term immunity the T cell data shows that the immune system seems to be stronger against all variant strains. This gives us hope that a variant strain could be treated, either for death or hospitalisation, with the current vaccines.

T cells did not only respond to the spike protein, but also recognized a wider variety of antigens than that which might… be shared by all variants.

When asked about Omicron specifically, he replied: “Our hope as scientists that protection against death and hospitalization will continue to be intact.” 

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which received samples from the study, has now examined how the Omicron variant could be neutralized by vaccines. 

However, Dr Kall stated that she is skeptical about the claims of the new strain causing less severe diseases.

On Twitter, she wrote: “I am extremely skeptical that it could possibly be more mild.” The best scenario is that it has the same severity as Delta… But you will notice milder symptoms today than Delta, since many people have immunity.

Yesterday’s preprint suggested that Omicron is three times as likely to infect again people who have had Covid.

South African researchers reported 35,670 new infections since the start of the pandemic. This was in addition to the 0.7% risk during South Africa’s Beta-fuelled Delta wave and second winter waves.

The risk of contracting the virus once again has risen to at minimum 2.4.

Researchers from Stellenbosch University near Cape Town said that Omicron is more able than others to overcome immunity.

The preprint means that the paper hasn’t been reviewed yet. Other scientists will double-check it.

Simon Clarke, a microbiologist from Reading University said that the data were the first indication Omicron might be immune to previous Covid infections. 

“There were some caveats to this research, like not being able confirm that Omicron was responsible for the reinfection. But they were able determine that increased beta and Delta transmission was not due to immune evasion. 

“There are no clues as to the mechanism of this immune evasion, but it could be due to decreased antibody binding Omicron’s mutant spike protein.

He stated, “Omicron has exposed a major flaw in the argument that we should just allow the virus to spread and hope for immunity.” 

Herd immunity now appears to be a distant dream. Omicron’s ability to escape vaccine-induced immunity is still unknown.

Paul Hunter, a University of East Anglia expert in infectious diseases said that Omicron would be capable of overcoming natural and possibly vaccine-induced immunity to some degree. 

“But the degree of escape is not certain, but it seems unlikely that complete freedom will result.”

He added: ‘It remains the case that the extra value of the booster vaccination dose remains the most important step that we can take to reduce the probability of severe disease. 

“I think that targeted vaccinations for omicron will soon be available. However, if it spreads worldwide as fast as it is in South Africa, most people may have already been affected by it before a vaccine can be made.” 

This variant of the virus has been detected in over 30 countries around the world and was likely spreading before South Africa raised alarm. The Netherlands had detected the case a week before Nigeria, who found their first case from a October sample.