Moscow [Russia], December 5 (ANI/Sputnik): Hospital admissions in South Africa are not on the rise, despite a jump in active COVID-19 cases triggered by the new Omicron coronavirus strain, the country's president, Cyril Ramaphosa, told reporters.
"Our hospital admissions are not increasing at an alarming rate meaning that people [who] may be testing positive are not in large numbers being admitted to hospitals," Ramaphosa told reporters, as quoted by South African outlet Eyewitness News.
The president, who is currently on an official visit to Ghana, has also criticized the nations that imposed travel restrictions on South Africa and a number of other African states after the detection of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the country.
According to Health Minister Joe Phaahla, however, people must not worry as the new variant is more transmissible but seems to bring milder illness, as hospital admissions appear to show.
"The tests still have to be done and the research still needs to be done that whilst Omicron spreads, it does not seem to be resulting in greater numbers of hospital admissions. We should take heart from that," the president added.
Since the discovery of the new coronavirus variant in South Africa at the end of November, active COVID-19 cases in the country rose from 19,302 to over 75,000. It was marked as a variant of concern due to its high infection rates by the World Health Organization prompting countries worldwide to enforce new travel restrictions. (ANI/Sputnik)