South African scientists said on Friday that they do not see a more serious disease in people infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The scientists say more time is needed to draw a definitive conclusion. Health Minister Joe Phaahla thinks it is a positive indication.
Phaahla says the first studies seem to show that there is an increase in the number of patients being admitted to the hospital, but that the amount of corona infections mainly causes this. “So not because of the seriousness of the Omicron variant,” said the minister.
In South Africa, about 38 percent of the population over the age of 18 has been vaccinated. This is more than in other countries on the African continent. The government has now announced that it already wants to start distributing booster vaccinations in the fight against the coronavirus.
More than 22,000 new corona infections were reported on Thursday, a new record since July this year.