Though Omicron seems to spread quickly, medical experts are so far seeing mild symptoms in sufferers of the new Covid-19 variant. 

The B.1.1.529 variant identified this week has been blamed for the sharp rise in cases as the fourth wave rolls into the country.

SA Medical Association chair Dr Angelique Coetzee said Omicron has not been shown to have severe symptoms, but said this could change in the future.

“At this stage there is no need to panic. In fact, I confirmed this with other colleagues in different areas in Pretoria and the Midrand as well as with specialists in hospitals.

“There is only one patient who is in ICU on a ventilator but we are not sure if it is the Omnicon or the Delta variant because the ICU does not do sequencing.”

She said the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria was seeing more children as patients, “but we know that fewer children [than adults] have been vaccinated”.

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