According to a pair of preliminary research from South Africa this week, the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 is spreading two times quicker than the Delta variant and maybe three times as possible to reinfect those previously recovered from the virus. Furthermore, the initial statistics from nine South African provinces reveal that the new variant spread more significantly than twice as faster as the delta variant, according to South African Coronavirus Modelling Consortium numbers.
In addition, Pearson told the New York Times that scientists are not sure whether the quick spread of the Omicron variant is predominantly because of its infectious status or ability to oppose the immune system. However, it added that it is still possible that the new variant might even be less contagious than Delta. On Thursday, South African scientists assessed that Omicron is at least three times more possibly to reinfect people who previously recovered from the virus than formerly known variants.
The slope of this trend tells us how fast Omicron takes over from Delta and is also equal to the difference in their growth rate. That works out at 0.39 [0.29-0.48] 95% CLs. Multiply this growth rate advantage by the generation time of the virus and exponentiate it and… pic.twitter.com/WogYmsGc8Z
— Tom Wenseleers (@TWenseleers) December 2, 2021
They also cited a significant surge in the rate of COVID-19 infection during the most recent wave of the country. Moreover, the latest coronavirus variant accounted for around seventy-three percent of all sequenced genomes from positive coronavirus tests in the country in November, according to the figures of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa. However, a small part of samples from tests are sequenced every week.
New Coronavirus Cases Surged in South Africa after Omicron Detected
South Africa reported around sixteen thousand and fifty-five coronavirus cases on Friday, increasing from eleven thousand, five hundred and thirty-five on Thursday. Coronavirus cases rushed in the country since the Omicron variant was initially detected in southern Africa on 25th November. So, the World Health Organization (WHO) considered Omicron a variant of concern shortly after it explained the severity and transmissibility of the virus resulting from the variant remain unclear.
Some scientists are hopeful that current coronavirus vaccines will offer strong protection against the variant: NCID said in a Thursday report. However, the new variant may be able to evade some immune protection. Less than twenty-five percent of South African nationals received full vaccination doses against the COVID-19, according to the recent figures from Oxford University’s Our World in Data project. Furthermore, the United States reported its confirmed Omicron case on Wednesday and reported cases in six different states. It is unclear whether the cases will surge in the U.S. as they have in South Africa as Omicron spreads.
Read Also: What Makes Omicron Different from Other Variants?