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South Africa experiences surge in covid cases, higher hospitalisations from omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, European health officials labeled variants of concern: The number of infected patients increased by 5, European health officials declared the Omicron strain found in South Africa as a variant of concern

South Africa experiences surge in covid cases, higher hospitalisations from omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, European health officials labeled variants of concern: The number of infected patients increased by 5, European health officials declared the Omicron strain found in South Africa as a variant of concern
Written by Arindam
South Africa experiences surge in covid cases, higher hospitalisations from omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, European health officials labeled variants of concern: The number of infected patients increased by 5, European health officials declared the Omicron strain found in South Africa as a variant of concern

Johannesburg: In South Africa, there is a fresh increase in the cases of Kovid-19 due to two sub-variants of Omicron. Health experts have said that a situation like South Africa can arise in any country of the world. Professor Marta Nunes, researcher in vaccines and infectious disease analysis at Soweto’s Chris Hani Bargawanath Hospital, said the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the country has been increasing for the past three weeks. However, the matter of relief is that no increase in the number of serious cases and deaths has been registered during this period.

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Nunes said that we are still in the early stages in terms of increasing cases. So really I don’t want to call it a wave. He said, “We are seeing a slight increase in the number of hospitalizations, in fact the number of deaths is very less. It is noteworthy that in April, an average of 300 new cases of infection were coming in South Africa, whose number has increased to eight thousand this week.

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Mild symptoms of infected raised concern
Nunes said that the actual number of new infections is probably higher because those infected have mild symptoms and people are getting tested only when they fall ill. Two subvariants of Omicron, ba.4 and ba.5, have been identified in South Africa, which closely resemble the original form, which was first identified in South Africa and Botswana late last year.

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People getting infected with two sub-variants of Omicron
Nunes said that most of the new cases are coming from these two variants of infection. It is still oomicron but slightly different at the level of the genome. He said that the new form can also infect people who have been vaccinated and have acquired immunity against the previous Kovid-19 infection, but it usually causes mild symptoms.

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Arindam

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