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COVID live UK news: Work from home and other measures will slow down Omicron cases, Zahawi says; Labour calls for high street vaccination centres so Christmas shoppers can get boosters, over 30s can book booster from Monday | UK News

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Omicron cases doubling every one to one and a half days in South Africa, expert says

South African Government COVID Adviser, Professor Barry Schoub, updated Trevor Phillips on Sunday with the latest findings of the Omicron variant this morning.

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He said Omicron cases in South Africa has been a “mixed bag”.

“Basically on the one hand, we’ve had a very rapid rise in infections – if you look at the epidemical curve it is almost vertical.

“Our doubling time at the moment is about one to 1.5 days – in other words in one to one and half days we are doubling in numbers. Its rapidly increasing,” he said.

“On the other hand, hospitalisation rates have not been that high, and also with hospitalised individuals, only around 15% are in ICU”.

He added that so far, Omicron cases have been mild, but that could be due to high immunity in the country at the moment, from past infection or vaccination. 

Prof Schoub added that one negative is that there appears to be a lot of “vaccine escape” with this variant.

“A lot of people who are fully vaccinated are still getting infected, but fortunately, of that group, the majority are mild.”



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