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APsplainin Omicron-stricken South Africa may be glimpse into the future past
New COVID-19 cases in South Africa have burgeoned from about 200 a day in mid-November to more than 16,000 on Friday. Omicron was detected over a week ago in the country's most populous province, Gauteng, and has since spread to all eight other provinces, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said.

Even with the rapid increase, infections are still below the 25,000 new daily cases that South Africa reported in the previous surge, in June and July.
Genomic data for samples collected in May 2021 are available for all 9 provinces, and 70% of 739 genomes from May were the Beta variant (Fig 2). The Alpha, Delta and Eta variants account for 6%, 14% and 1% of the May genomes. For June 2021, genomic data are available for 5 provinces, with 603 sequences available on GISAID. Genomes sequenced (n=603) from samples collected in June 2021 shows 36% Beta and 49% Delta variant frequency with the Alpha variant accounting for 6% (Fig 2).
"What we must re-emphasize is that while our scientists and those in Botswana were the first discover and report on the variant, no one knows where it originated," Phaahla said.
SA | National Institute for Communicable Diseases
by Cat on Fri Dec 3rd, 2021 at 07:45:46 PM EST
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