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Amid Omicron threat, COVID-19 cases soar in South Africa by 403% in a week

11:25 PM Dec 01, 2021 | FPJ Bureau

Coronavirus cases in South Africa have soared by 403 per cent in a week, after the country's scientists sounded the alarm about the Omicron variant, reports Daily Mail. In the space of two weeks, the Omicron variant has sent South Africa from a period of low transmission into orbit of rapid growth.

More than ten per cent of those tested for Covid across South Africa have tested positive, official data showed; 4,473 cases were recorded on Tuesday - an increase of 92 per cent compared to the day before. But scientists in the country have warned that the vast majority of people who end up being hospitalised with the Omicron variant are unvaccinated.

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The un-jabbed patients are also suffering more severe symptoms compared to the jabbed. Experts have warned the early round of infections has been among the young and the situation may become more serious if the new surge affects older, unvaccinated South Africans.

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4 FROM UK, NETHERLANDS TEST POSITIVE: Four people who flew into Delhi from the Netherlands and the UK in the early hours of Wednesday have tested positive for COVID-19 and their samples have been sent for genome sequencing to ascertain if they are infected with the new variant, Omicron, sources said.

CUT DOWN ON DELAY AT AIRPORT: At the airport, passengers can cut down on the waiting time by opting for the more expensive rapid RTPCR test, the result of which is known in an hour but costs Rs 3,900 per person. On the other hand, a normal RTPCR test takes a minimum of 4 hours to conclude but costs Rs 500 per person.

Mostly international travellers arriving from ‘at risk countries’ are worried about the long wait at an Indian airport; the expensive test caters to this class of people. But the test can be a pinch on the pocket if one is travelling with family. Several passengers who stepped out of the airport said that the waiting period for the cheaper test was five-six hours. This is an ordeal for passengers who have spent, say nine hours, in transit.

GLOBAL RADAR

Germany and Israel are inching towards making COVID-19 vaccine shots compulsory.

Greece is making vaccines mandatory for all above 60 years of age. They will be fined if they don’t get a shot.

Spain has banned travellers from the UK who aren't fully vaccinated.

In Singapore, those who choose not to get their jabs will have to pay for their own medical bills, if they get Covid.

Ukraine is sending teachers and government officials who aren't fully vaccinated on unpaid leave.

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