Scientists confirm Omicron's increased transmissibility - Health Department

The Health Department said dozens of scientists collaborated to investigate the full spectrum of issues related to fighting the new coronavirus infection, including features related to the Omicron variant.

Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. (Pixabay)

JOHANNESBURG - The Health Department has given an update on the Russian-South African scientific mission to study the clinical characteristics of the new Omicron variant.

The Health Department said dozens of scientists collaborated to investigate the full spectrum of issues related to fighting the new coronavirus infection, including features related to the Omicron variant in the areas of epidemiology, laboratory diagnosis, virological monitoring, immunology, clinical features, and therapy of infection.

As suspected, they confirmed the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant from person to person.

They also noted that young age groups played a significant role at the initial stage of the spread of infection.

The densely populated Tshwane district, which includes the capital city of Pretoria and which is near to the economic hub of Johannesburg, was the location of the initial clusters of transmission of the variant.

Much as experts had warned, the course of the disease is more severe among unvaccinated people with risk factors, especially in older age groups.