Omicron set for "strongest" transmission in South Africa

The omicron coronavirus variant is spreading faster in Gauteng, the epicenter of the latest outbreak in South Africa, than the delta strain or any of the earlier mutations, an adviser to the provincial government said.

There is the “strongest acceleration in community transmission ever seen in South Africa,” Bruce Mellado, the adviser, said in a presentation on Thursday. This is “consistent with dominance of a variant that is more transmissible,” he said…

“Omicron seems to be moving at a faster speed than Delta, but at the same time what seems to be happening is that our hospitalization rate is somewhat more muted,” said Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist at the University of the Witwatersrand. “I’m optimistic that in this resurgence, while the total number of cases will probably be greater, hospitalizations and deaths will be lower.”