(Bloomberg) -- Symptoms linked to the omicron coronavirus variant have been “pretty mild” so far, according to a Covid-19 adviser to the South Africa government.
While South Africa, which first identified the new variant, currently has 3,220 people with the coronavirus infection overall, there’s been no real uptick in hospitalizations, Barry Schoub, chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, told Sky News on Sunday.
“The cases that have occurred so far have all been mild cases, mild-to-moderate cases and that’s a good sign,” said Schoub, adding that it was still early days and nothing was certain yet.
South Africa has been hit with a number of travel bans from the U.K. and other nations, after its scientists found the mutated variant last week. Since then, a growing number of European countries, along with Australia, have also identified people infected with the variant.
The large number of mutations found in the omicron variant appears to destabilize the virus, which might make it less “fit” than the dominant delta strain, said Schoub.
“In a way, hopefully it won’t displace delta because delta we know responds very well to the vaccine,” he said.
Only about a third of South Africans are vaccinated.
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