Johannesburg, Dec 5 (IANS): The super mutant Omicron is not driving hospital admissions at an alarming rate, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
Ramaphosa sought to allay fears of possible heightened dangers of the Omicron variant by sharing the contents of his regular briefings with Health Minister Joe Phaahla, local media reported.
He said Phaahla told him that while the variant appears more transmissible, hospital admissions tell a different story.
"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 and it is for that reason that I said we should not panic," he was quoted as saying.
Further, Ramaphosa criticised the banning of travellers from southern Africa by western countries over fears of spreading Omicron, the report said.
While "research still needs to be done, Omicron does not seem to be resulting in greater numbers of hospital admissions. We should take heart from that. It's going to be found all over. We now need to learn to live with the virus", Ramaphosa said.
He added that vaccination rates need to increase as he once again hit back at developed economies for having been quote "greedy" by hoarding vaccines.