The chair of the South African Medical Association has described the two fully vaccinated patients she’s seen with the new Omicron variant as only displaying mild symptoms.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, who appeared on Good Morning Britain, was one of the first persons to suspect the emergence of a different virus strain after she noticed seven patients at her clinic were showing different symptoms to the Delta variant.

She fielded questions on the ITV show about if symptoms were worse for Omicron and if transmissibility was greater, which she replied that they would hopefully have full answers for by the end of the week or the coming weeks.

She said: “So to answer your question about transmissibility, yes I think it is on par with the Delta [variant].

“However, the clinical picture still remains at grassroot levels and that of a milder disease.

“We are not disputing that there would be sick patients in the ICUs going forward, but for now its is mild [and[ doesn’t seem as virulent that we have seen in the deaths.”

When asked about if being vaccinated would be any help against the Omicron variant, Dr Coetzee said that the two fully vaccinated patients she saw, who had had the Pfizer vaccine, only had “very mild” symptoms.

One of those patients was 66 years old while the other was 61.

She added: “We have not seen severely sick patients.

“Again, going forward it might change but we can give you advice of what we are clinically seeing at grassroots levels.”