Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, said on Friday that although it’s early, the Omicron variant appears to be very transmissible.
“From the early reports that we have, starting with the Gauteng province where it was first observed, and then across the different provinces of South Africa, we do think it is quite infectious, quite transmissible, because South Africa has been reporting a very rapid increase in the number of cases. In fact, they’ve been doubling every day, and that suggests that this virus is highly transmissible,” Swaminathan said at the Reuters NEXT Global Conference.
“How much more transmissible than Delta, it’s hard to say at this point of time, but it is a very transmissible variant, that what it appears,” she said.
Swaminathan also pointed out that “huge thanks” are owed to South Africa’s scientific and medical community, who have been updating and working nonstop to provide as much information as possible.