Based on current limited evidence Omicron appears to have a growth advantage over Delta. It is spreading faster than Delta in South Africa where Delta circulation was low, but also appears to spread more quickly than Delta in other countries where the incidence of Delta is high.
Given the current available data, it is likely that Omicron will outpace the Delta variant where community transmission occurs.
Virulence Level Unclear
While preliminary findings from South Africa suggest it may be less severe than Delta and all cases reported in the EU/EEA to date have been mild or asymptomatic, it remains unclear to what extent Omicron may be inherently less virulent. More data are needed.
Meanwhile, the Omicron variant has now spread to 63 countries including India with faster transmission noted in South Africa and the UK, the World Health Organization has said.
Britain faces a “tidal wave” of the Omicron variant of coronavirus and two vaccine doses will not be enough to contain it, British prime minister Boris Johnson has warned, as he accelerated the booster rollout programme, bringing forward a target to give over-18s a booster jab by one month to the end of December.
“No one should be in any doubt: there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming,” Johnson said in a televised address, after the country’s medical advisers raised the Covid Alert Level due to a “rapid increase” in infection from the variant.
“I’m afraid it is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need,” Johnson added.There are limited available data, and no peer-reviewed evidence, on vaccine efficacy or effectiveness to date for Omicron. Preliminary evidence suggests a reduction in vaccine efficacy against infection and transmission associated with Omicron.”
South African President tests +ve
Also, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, but was showing mild symptoms, the South African Presidents office said.
“The President started feeling unwell after leaving the State Memorial Service in honour of former Deputy President FW de Klerk in Cape Town earlier today,” the statement said.
“The President, who is fully vaccinated, is in self-isolation in Cape Town and has delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President David Mabuza for the next week,” it added.