Omicron calling the shots
Global cases update:
- Cases have surpassed 266.12 million, while the death toll has surpassed 5.27 million; recoveries are at 239.75 million.
- The US has 49.96 million cases, accounting for 19% of global cases; the US death toll is 808, 763.
- India has 34.64 million cases and 473,537 deaths; Brazil has 22.14 million cases and 615,674 deaths.
- The US, with the Omicron variant now prevalent in at least 17 states, is re-evaluating its travel ban on eight southern African countries.
- The UK expects all incoming travellers, regardless of vaccination status, to take a pre-flight Covid test.
- France is aiming to avoid implementing further restrictions.
- Italy is cracking down on its small minority of the unvaccinated.
- Moderna has indicated that there’s a “real risk” that existing vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant.
- Globally, more than 8.18 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries at a rate of 36.1 million doses a day.
Africa cases update:
- Africa’s Covid-19 cases are at 8.82 million; fatalities are at 222,277.
- Morocco has 950,591 reported cases, Nigeria 214,622, Ghana 130,920, Kenya 255,437.
- Senegal and Tunisia have reported their first cases of the Omicron variant.
South Africa cases update:
- SA currently has the 18th highest caseload, at 3.031 million; 11,125 new cases were reported yesterday.
- Active cases are at 83,584; Gauteng leads the way, with 55,492 active cases, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 7,378.
- Covid-19 deaths rose by 1 yesterday, to 89,966; 2.858 million people (or 94.3%) have recovered from the virus.
- 19.761 million tests have been conducted since 5 March 2020; 46,708 tests were conducted yesterday.
- The SA positivity rate is at 23.8%.
- 26.348 million vaccines have been administered in SA to date; 22,145 vaccines were administered yesterday.
- SA data does not show a resulting surge of hospitalizations due to the Omicron variant. Authorities are, however, ready for a patient influx.
- Scientists have warned of a higher rate of repeat infections but say vaccines appear to protect against serious illness.
- The variant appears to be reinfecting people at three times the rate of previous strains.
- Scientists suggest that the Omicron may provoke less severe illness than previous variants.
- Many of the first Omicron cases have been identified in younger individuals or detected in very recently screened travellers.