The Covid-19 variant omicron is spreading faster than the Delta strain or any of the earlier mutations in, Gauteng an adviser to the Provincial Government said.
"This is the the strongest acceleration in community transmission ever seen in South Africa". Bruce Mellado, an adviser to the Provincial Government said in a presentation on Thursday.
He said it was a similar situation to the third wave when the Delta variant quickly became dominant. On a preliminary estimate of hospital occupancy, Mellado said it was anticipated that it would be at 4,000 when the province reaches its peak, compared to the 9,500 seen during the third wave.
Mellado said it was expected that Gauteng could reach its peak in mid December but cautioned that reaching a peak was not the end of a resurgence.
On Sunday night president Cyril Ramaphosa made an announcement that vaccines could be made mandatory, following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant.
Omicron has been declared a variant of concern WHO - the emergence of the new variant has put a spotlight on the rate of vaccinations in the country and reignited the debate around making the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory.
Ramaphosa announced that the government will be setting up a task team which will engage in consultation on making vaccination mandatory for certain activities, and the task team will be headed by the deputy president David Mabuza.
The president added that recommendations will be made on a "fair and sustainable" approach to making vaccines mandatory.
News24, a few days ago made a report that vaccine mandate is likely to survive legal challenge but the government must ensure they reach all people living in South Africa.
Legal experts largely agree that Covid-19 vaccine mandates could withstand constitutional attack, but some argue there need to be guarantees that they don't end up only protecting South Africa's employed population.
In Greece, it was announced that the country will be implementing mandatory vaccination for people over the age of 60. And countries in Europe are also moving towards making vaccination mandatory.
See the picture below, to see countries which have implemented mandatory vaccination:
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