Omicron becoming dominant in new COVID infections, says NICD

There were more than 8,500 new COVID19 cases recorded on Wednesday and the NICD expects an exponential rise with Omicron driving the surge.

FILE: More than 20 countries have reported cases of the Omicron variant, while South Africa and Botswana account for 62%. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Omicron appears to be dominating new COVID-19 infections.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Thursday said around 75% of samples were testing positive for the new variant.

South African scientists announced its discovery last week.

There were more than 8,500 new COVID19 cases recorded on Wednesday and the NICD expects an exponential rise with Omicron driving the surge.

NICD clinical microbiologist professor Anne von Gottberg addressed a WHO Africa briefing on Thursday. She said: “For the month of November, we had 249 sequences and of those, 183 have been considered to be Omicron.”

She's also warned that at this stage, it appears previous infection does not seem to offer protection against Omicron.

More than 20 countries have reported cases of the Omicron variant, while South Africa and Botswana account for 62%.

WATCH: At least 23 countries have reported cases of the Omicron variant