OREANDA-NEWS. An unprecedented increase in the number of new cases of coronavirus has occurred in South Africa (South Africa) in a short period of time amid the spread of a new strain of omicron, said researcher at the country's National Institute of Infectious Diseases Michelle Groom.

“We are actually seeing an unprecedented rise in new cases in a very short time span,” Groom said during a health ministry briefing that was broadcast on the agency’s Facebook.

According to preliminary data, the specialist added, the new strain is "quite well transmitted" and may also "elude a nominal answer."
In turn, the head of the South African Ministry of Health, Joe Paahla, noted that the increase in cases of infection occurred much faster than "during the last three waves", and the rise of a new, fourth, wave is "much steeper."

“Now, as we enter the fourth wave with the new variant, we can see how the warning (that the strains will spread more easily, but also be less dangerous) is confirmed. The number of cases has increased from 2465, which was recorded last Thursday, when a new version was reported, up to yesterday's high of 11,535 cases, "Paahla said during the briefing.

He noted that vaccination against coronavirus is still necessary to combat the new strain.

Earlier, the World Health Organization, following an emergency meeting, decided to classify a new variant of the coronavirus found in South Africa as causing concern. The new strain - B.1.1.529 - was named by the WHO with the Greek letter omicron. The chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, expressed concern that omicron in its danger could become comparable to the Ebola virus and as infectious as the delta strain, it has already been identified on all continents.