The extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic in southern Africa has been characterised by three distinct waves. The primary was related to a mixture of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, while the second and third waves have been pushed by the Beta and Delta variants, respectively1–3. In November 2021, genomic surveillance groups in South Africa and Botswana detected a brand new SARS-CoV-2 variant related to a speedy resurgence of infections in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Inside three days of the primary genome being uploaded, it was designated a variant of concern (Omicron) by the World Well being Group and, inside three weeks, had been recognized in 87 international locations. The Omicron variant is phenomenal for carrying over 30 mutations within the spike glycoprotein, predicted to affect antibody neutralization and spike operate4. Right here, we describe the genomic profile and early transmission dynamics of Omicron, highlighting the speedy unfold in areas with excessive ranges of inhabitants immunity.