Chairperson of the South African Medical Association (SAMA) said most patients infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 got mild symptoms, while the unvaccinated patients showed relatively severe symptoms.
Angelique Cootze, who has treated 70 patients diagnosed with the new variant, said she has seen most patients with mild symptoms such as headaches, body aches and sore throats over the past two weeks, Xinhua news agency reported.
She said these symptoms are different from the Delta variant, even though this may change as cases rise.
"Omicron is different. There's no loss of smell and taste and there is no need for oxygen at this stage and we don't know what might happen as cases continue increasing," she told Xinhua on Tuesday. "This variant is more in the muscle."
Cootze said the symptoms of the new variant were worse in patients who had not been vaccinated.
"There was severe fatigue and other symptoms that were quite intense in unvaccinated people."
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Monday reported 6,381 new cases of Covid and 9 related fatalities in South Africa over the past 24 hours.
Health Minister Joe Phaahla recently said the rising cases were being driven by the new variant.