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JUST IN| warning issued, especially to the South African youth

The speed at which the new Covid-19 variant Omicron in infecting young people has alarmed SA health professionals.

"We're seeing a marked change in the demographic profile of patients with Covid-19," Rudo Mathivha, head of intensive care at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, told an online media briefing on Saturday.

"Young people, in their 20s to just over their later 30s, are coming i with moderate to severe disease, some needing intensive care. About 65% are not vaccinated and most of the rest are only half- vaccinated.

"I'm worried that as the number go up, the public healthcare facilities will become overwhelmed."

Only 27% of 18 to 34-year-olds have had a vaccination does, meaning 13- million have yet to have a jab. By contrast 64% of over- 60s have been vaccinated.

Epidemiologist and former ministerial advisory committee chair Prof Salim Abdool Karim said it is too early to make definitive statements about young people being more susceptible to Omicron. "What we can expect is that we are likely to see more cases in those who are not vaccinated," he said.


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Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Covid-19 Omicron South African


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