Omicron poses “very high” global risk, world must prepare: WHO

29 November 2021, 12:14 PM
The Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a "very high" global risk of infection surges that could have "severe consequences" in some areas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.
Phaahla calls on people to get fully vaccinated, avoid indoor gatherings as COVID-19 cases spike in SA 4 December 2021, 8:17 AM

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, has appealed for people to avoid indoor gatherings, due to the high transmissibility of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant. He has reiterated the call for people who haven't received their second Pfizer dose to complete their vaccinations.

CORONAVIRUS: Your daily update 4 December 2021, 6:19 AM

South Africa's COVID-19 cases have surpassed the 3 million mark with 16 055 new cases reported in the past 24-hours. Accumulative cases now stand at 3 004 203.

SA is officially in the fourth wave of COVID-19 pandemic: Phaahla 3 December 2021, 12:25 PM

South Africa is officially in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Minister Joe Phaahla made the announcement on Friday morning.

Gauteng government will not call for a stricter lockdown: Makhura 3 December 2021, 11:06 AM

The Gauteng Provincial Government says it will not call for the province to be placed under a stricter COVID-19 lockdown.

Omicron variant highly transmissible, spreading throughout all provinces: Phaahla 3 December 2021, 9:38 AM

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has warned that the COVID-19 Omicron variant is highly transmissible, with data showing its presence in all nine provinces.

WHO urges Asia-Pacific to ready for Omicron-driven surge in infections 3 December 2021, 9:29 AM

Asia-Pacific countries should boost their healthcare capacity and fully vaccinate their people to prepare for a surge in COVID-19 cases fuelled by the Omicron variant, officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

South Africa sees rise in COVID reinfections from Omicron, mild symptoms: scientist 3 December 2021, 8:00 AM

South Africa is seeing an increase in COVID-19 reinfections due to the Omicron variant but symptoms for reinfected patients and those infected after vaccination appear to be mild, a scientist studying the outbreak of the new strain said.

Zimbabwe detects case of Omicron variant in country 3 December 2021, 6:40 AM

Zimbabwe has detected a case of the Omicron variant in the country, its Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said on Thursday on state television.

Dutch COVID-19 quarantine ends for most South African passengers: authorities 2 December 2021, 1:03 PM

Dutch health authorities say that more than 20 passengers who have been in quarantine since testing positive for COVID-19 after flying from South Africa on November 26 will be allowed to leave on Thursday.

Western Cape tourism, hospitality records over 50% of booking cancellations following travel bans 2 December 2021, 12:36 PM

The Western Cape Provincial Government says the tourism and hospitality sector has recorded a cancellation of bookings at more than 50% for December 2021.

First Omicron case in US fuels global alarm over virus variant 2 December 2021, 10:22 AM

Fears over the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rose on Thursday after the first case was reported in the United States and the Japanese central bank warned of economic pain as countries respond with tighter containment measures.

Global travel curbs triggered by Omicron 1 December 2021, 7:43 PM

Air travellers to the United States will face tougher COVID-19 testing rules to try to slow the spread of the Omicron variant as other countries tighten border controls.

Ballito Rage festival continues despite new COVID-19 variant 1 December 2021, 10:43 AM

This year's Ballito Rage on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, north of Durban, has kicked off amid fears of the spread of the newly discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Nigeria confirms first cases of Omicron among travellers from South Africa 1 December 2021, 9:34 AM

Nigeria confirmed its first cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant among two travellers who arrived from South Africa last week, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Wednesday.

Aspen aims to eventually produce 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Africa 1 December 2021, 6:32 AM

South African pharmaceutical company Aspen says its aim is to eventually produce 1.3 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines for Africa.

South Africa records 4 373 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday 30 November 2021, 8:43 PM

South Africa has identified 4 373 new COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of infections to 2 968 052. A further 21 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 89 843 to date.

Omicron variant could outcompete Delta, SA disease expert says 30 November 2021, 7:28 PM

The Omicron coronavirus variant detected in southern Africa could be the most likely candidate to displace the highly contagious Delta variant, the director of South Africa's communicable disease institute said on Tuesday.

Tourists flock to Philippine holiday island amid COVID-19 outbreak 30 November 2021, 5:30 PM

Workers on the tourism-dependent Boracay island in the Philippines expressed concern on Monday over tightened border controls, following the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Basic Education satisfied with level of uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among staff, learners 30 November 2021, 5:25 PM

Basic Education Department says it is satisfied with the level of uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among staff and learners. Director-General Mweli Matanzima says they are currently encouraging everybody to vaccinate because it is in everyone's interest.

Mask mandates to tackle Omicron come into force in England 30 November 2021, 12:04 PM

New mask mandates and other measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant came into force in England on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson eyes an expanded booster programme to help increase protection against COVID-19.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required to register at four Western Cape Universities 30 November 2021, 11:36 AM

Proof of vaccination against the coronavirus will now be required to register at all four major institutions of higher learning in the Western Cape. The Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology signed bilateral agreements with the provincial Department of Health.

Singapore to hold off further reopening to evaluate Omicron variant 30 November 2021, 9:11 AM

Singapore will hold off on further reopening measures while it evaluates the Omicron COVID-19 variant and will boost testing of travelers and frontline workers to reduce the risk of local transmission, authorities said on Tuesday.

Biden joins call by Ramaphosa for people to get vaccinated against coronavirus 29 November 2021, 9:45 PM

US President Joe Biden has joined calls by South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa for people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus amid concerns about the spread of the new Omicron variant.

Political parties welcome decision to remain on Level 1 lockdown 29 November 2021, 8:09 PM

Political parties have mostly welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that the country remains on Level 1 lockdown.

WHO flags global risk from Omicron, countries tighten curbs 29 November 2021, 5:25 PM

The Omicron variant of coronavirus carries a very high global risk of surges, the WHO warned on Monday, as more countries reported cases, prompting border closures and reviving worries about the economic recovery from a two-year pandemic.

Increase in admissions of children infected with COVID-19: NICD 29 November 2021, 3:08 PM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says there has been an increase in hospital admissions of children infected with COVID-19.

Daily COVID-19 cases expected to rise to over 10 000: Prof Abdool Karim 29 November 2021, 1:49 PM

Renowned epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, has warned that breakthrough COVID-19 infections are likely - amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant.

Video | Department of Health media briefing on SA’s state of readiness regarding the COVID-19 Omicron variant 29 November 2021, 10:30 AM

Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla, Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and a panel of scientists brief the media on South Africa's state of readiness to respond to the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

TBCSA welcomes government’s decision to keep SA on COVID-19 alert level one lockdown 29 November 2021, 10:01 AM

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has welcomed government's decision to keep the country on COVID-19 alert level one lockdown - saying the sector is relying on local customers to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

ANC, DA react to travel ban on SA following detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant 29 November 2021, 9:03 AM

The ANC and DA have bemoaned the action of several countries imposing travel bans on some Southern African nations. ANC's Legoete says it is unfair for South Africa to be punished for being a leading figure in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and DA's John Steenhuisen says the travel restrictions are irrational.