Per NICD, Omicron accounts for 74% of the 249 viral genomes sequenced in S.A. in November.
According to the newest data from SA, where Omicron is quickly overtaking the Delta variant, shows that it appears to get around some immunity, although vaccinations should still provide protection against severe disease. Per the latest official report released on Wednesday, the new variant has been detected in five of country’s nine provinces and is likely to be present throughout the country. The number of cases recorded on a daily basis has increased to 8,561. Since not all test samples are subjected to genomic sequencing, it's impossible to say how many of those were Omicron, but according to an official presentation, Omicron is "rapidly becoming the dominant variant." SA conducts genome sequencing on only a small proportion of total samples collected each week.
"(The) mutation profile and epidemiological picture suggests Omicron is able to get around some of our immune protection (to cause infection) but the protection against severe disease and death from vaccines should be less affected," the latest report from the surveillance network said. The earliest sample which detected the variant was collected on November 8 in Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria. It has since been detected in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga, and the Western Cape. The Delta variant was responsible for the third wave of infections in the country, which peaked at around 26,000 cases per day in early July. The country has reported about 3 million infections and over 89,000 deaths since the pandemic began, the most on the African continent.