According to a widely-shared tweet (and also picked up by Townhall) (emphasis added):

Serious question since I'm not a dr. If omicron is contagious but not deadly (25,000 cases in Africa with no deaths) why try and control it? Why not let it go and let people get it and develop immunity? Especially for those who won’t get vaccinated? Pls no hate, I’m just curious.

Is it true that there have been no deaths in Africa due to the omicron variant of Covid-19 at the time of this tweet (December 23, 2021)?


1 Answer 1


There have been 75 covid deaths in the country of South Africa alone on the 23rd of December.

UPDATE: A total of 72,689 tests were conducted in the last 24hrs, with 21,157 new cases, which represents a 29.1% positivity rate. A further 75 #COVID19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90,662 to date.

Virtually all covid in South Africa is omicron - SGTF here means that the s-gene has mutations which are characteristic of omicron that can be detected during a qpcr assay

From 1 October through 6 December 2021, 161,328 COVID-19 cases were reported nationally; 38,282 were tested using TaqPath PCR and 29,721 SGTF infections were identified. The proportion of SGTF infections increased from 3% in early October (week 39) to 98% in early December (week 48).

  • 24
    This does not fully answer the question. "Virtually all" does not mean "all". 2% of 30k infections is still 600 non-omicron infections. Given the incredibly low death rates even of the previous strains, I agree it is unlikely that none of these 75 deaths are omicron - but this is not a complete proof. The correct counterexample here would be any single instance of an omicron infection causing death.
    – user15529
    Commented Dec 26, 2021 at 14:15
  • 20
    @CJR the answer also tacitly accepts that viruses exist, that death exists, that Africa exists, etc. How far down the rabbit-hole of craziness do you want answers to start building up a logical case for what they want to argue?
    – Dan Romik
    Commented Dec 26, 2021 at 19:05
  • 8
    You wrote "75 covid deaths" but you didn't say whether they were from the omicron variant, and that is what the question was about. Commented Dec 26, 2021 at 21:34
  • 13
    @MichaelHardy, I'm confused: are we reading the same question? The precise wording is "Is it true that there have been no deaths in Africa due to the omicron variant of Covid-19 at the time of this tweet (December 23, 2021)?" not "is the fatality rate of omicron much less than that of other variants" ???
    – Ben Bolker
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 2:01
  • 9
    Here is a report from the South African government showing six deaths from omicron out of 166 patients.
    – LShaver
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 22:17

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