South Africa Hit Hard by COVID-19


Nolan Burke

South Africa has experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks due to the emergence of the omicron variant. Previously, South Africa had seen a period of low transmission of COVID, but the omicron variant has led to rapid growth in the number of confirmed cases. 

Currently, South Africa is preparing for the worst case scenario, which is that the omicron variant could prove to be as severe as the delta variant. In the worst case scenario, all the beds in South African hospitals are taken. South Africa is addressing this scenario by preparing extra hospital beds for people afflicted with the omicron variant.

South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, was hit by COVID when the disease spread from the capital city Pretoria. Initially, the outbreak started as a seemingly contained cluster infection in a university in Pretoria. Now, countries such as the US are preparing for new confirmed cases from the omicron variant.

President Joe Biden has encouraged Americans for weeks to get vaccinated. Scientists do not yet know whether current vaccines are effective against the omicron variant.