South Africa: Omicron variant B.1.1.529 has outcompeted Delta in just two weeks

Africa, B.1.1.529, Botswana, Coronavirus, Infection, Omicron, South Africa, Testing, Transmission

South Africa held a press conference today to give more information on the new SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529. There is some very concerning news on the variant’s transmission potential, and news that it has already outcompeted all other variants including Delta in just two weeks 

The variant was named Omicron by the World Health Organisation on Friday 26th November 2021.

Professor Tulio de Oliveira, a director of Covid surveillance in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, said that the variant had spread rapidly in South Africa.  In less than two weeks it now dominates all infections following a devastating Delta wave in South Africa. We estimate that 90 per cent of cases in Gauteng (at least 1,000 a day) [are this variant].’


South African Press conference held 26th November 2021 on the new variant B.1.1.529:


A summary of the new B.1.1.529 variant:


B.1.1.529 – the potential impact of the mutations:


B.1.1.529 – a profile of the mutations:


New variant B.1.1.529 has already become the dominant variant in South Africa:


B.1.1.529 genomes detected in Gauteng Province in South Africa:


South Africa has already seen a large uptick across the country in S-Gene dropouts associated with the new variant:


A summary of what is known about B.1.1.529 so far:





B.1.1.529 Omicron: Sars-Cov-2 variant with extremely high number of Spike mutations

** This post was originally published on November 25, 2021 **