South Africa’s New COVID Cases Double In 1 Day Amid Omicron

A woman is tested for COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1021. South African doctors say the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases attributed to the new omicron variant is resulting in mostly mild symptoms. (AP Photo/ Shiraaz Mohamed)

(AP) — South Africa’s new cases of COVID-19 have nearly doubled in just one day. The numbers released Wednesday signal a dramatic surge in the country where scientists detected the omicron variant last week.

New confirmed cases rose to 8,561 Wednesday from 4,373 a day earlier. Scientists in South Africa said they are bracing for a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases following the discovery of the new omicron variant.

Dr. Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, regional virologist for the World Health Organization, said there is a possibility that South Africa is going to see a vast increase in the number of new cases. The omicron variant has been detected in five of South Africa’s nine provinces and accounted for 74% of the virus genomes sequenced in November.


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