Will the Omicron wave collapse like THIS in Britain too? Covid cases in South Africa super-mutant ground zero Gauteng are rapidly falling just a month into its outbreak
South Africa became ground zero for the new variant in late November and saw a meteoric rise in infections, から 670 以上に 20,000 in the space of just three weeks.
But cases appear to have peaked nationally at 26,976 12月に 15, and have now fallen for the last five days in a row. Yesterday they dipped 22 per cent in a week after 21,099 were recorded.
The huge surge in infections raised fears that a deadly wave of hospitalisations would follow, but almost immediately doctors on the frontlines said patients were coming in with milder illness.
The claims were dismissed by Britain’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, who claimed lower patient numbers may have been down to South Africa’s younger and sparser population.
But in another promising sign hospitalisations now appear to be levelling off too, hovering just below 400 admissions a day — compared to a height of 2,000 when Delta took hold.
Admissions dropped yesterday by four per cent, 次々と 593 were recorded. Deaths are just a fraction of the levels when Delta took hold, ただで 99 昨日.
がある 50 deaths a day on average now, up only slightly on the 20 deaths a day when Omicron was first detected in the country. しかし、彼は、オミクロンよりもさらに穏やかな変異体が年間を通じて出現すると予測しました, at the peak of the Delta wave there were 600 政府を擁護し、当局が「自宅で検疫しているすべての人をチェックする」ことができるかどうか疑問に思っていると述べた.
South African scientist Dr Michelle Groome said in a press briefing yesterday that infections are now levelling off in three of the country’s nine provinces after peaking in Gauteng about a week ago.
Hospitalisations and deaths are expected to rise for another few weeks even as cases fall because of the lag between infection and severe illness.
Britain is four weeks into its Omicron outbreak, with cases now spiralling to more than 90,000 a day while hospitalisations are over 800 a day and deaths have risen above 100.
But three real-world studies published yesterday suggested that Omicron infections are milder than Delta, and are less likely to put people in hospital.
The above graphs show how Covid cases are falling in South Africa compared to when the Delta variant took hold. Both waves were set to begin the first time a case of the variant was reported, which was May 8 for Delta and November 25 for Omicron. It reveals that hospitalisations are also dropping earlier than they did when Delta took hold. Deaths are still rising, but this is a lagging indicator because of the time taken for someone infected with the virus to become seriously ill
Figures on South Africa’s Covid cases, hospitalisation and deaths are compiled by the country’s National Institute for Infectious Diseases.
Its figures show that the seven-day average for Covid cases across the country is now falling, dipping from a high of 20,791 a week ago to 17,440 昨日.
The country is currently carrying out 58,000 swabs a day, comparable to the numbers done in early December when cases skyrocketed but down 14,000 on a week ago.
South African Covid cases fall AGAIN by 22% on last week fuelling hopes that their Omicron wave is over
南アフリカ, whose scientists detected the variant, 記録 21,099 new cases in the last 24 時間, down by nearly a quarter on the 26,976 infections confirmed last Wednesday.
A fifth fewer people were tested for the virus in the last 24 hours compared to the same period last week, but test positivity — the proportion of those tested who are infected — has been trending downwards for nine days.
Hospitalisations have also seen a slight decline, 以上で 590 people admitted to hospitals across the country, down by four per cent in a week, data from the National Institute For Communicable Diseases (研究者はの記録を調べた), 明らかに.
But deaths – which lag two to three weeks behind the pattern seen in case numbers due to the delay in an infected person becoming seriously unwell – have risen.
さらに 99 Covid-related deaths were recorded on Wednesday, に比べ 54 recorded a week ago.
The falling case numbers come despite only 25 per cent of South Africans being double-jabbed and boosters not being dished out in the country.
It raises hopes that the UK’s Omicron wave will also be short-lived, with Britain also having a layer of protection in its booster programme.
But the positivity rate — the proportion of swabs that detect the virus — is down on a week ago at 30.6 パーセント, suggesting the drop in cases is real and not due to fewer tests being carried out.
Broken down by province, the seven-day average for Covid cases is now ticking down in five of the country’s nine provinces.
In epicentre Gauteng it is down 60 現在、英国のほぼすべての地域で事件が発生しています。, から 9,956 に 4,088 cases a day.
In the North West they are falling by 31 現在、英国のほぼすべての地域で事件が発生しています。, から 1,384 に 946 ケース, in Limpopo it is down by 29 パーセント, から 885 に 625, in Mpumalanga it is down by 28 パーセント, から 1,180 に 848, and in Free State it is down by 10.5 パーセント, から 1,192 に 1,066.
South Africa’s latest breakdown of Covid testing per province only goes up to December 18, obscuring whether the drops in these provinces are real or due to falls in the number of tests carried out.
Nationally the positivity rate has risen in recent days but is still down on the same time a week ago.
Around half of all swabs are carried out in epicentre Gauteng, suggesting any fall in cases across the country could be mostly due to drops in this province.
In terms of hospitalisations admissions are now dipping across the country.
Broken down by province a drop is being recorded in epicentre Gauteng, where they fell a third in a week yesterday to 392 1日.
The number of Covid patients on the country’s wards is still rising, しかしながら. There wre 9,300 recordedyesterday up from 7,300 1週間前.
More patients are also in ICU and on ventilators, [object Window], と 613 now being in emergency units across the country and 239 needing the machines to help them breathe.
Dr Groome said yesterday: ‘All indications are that we’ve seen the end of the — that we’ve surpassed the peak of infections in Gauteng. This is encouraging and quite optimistic in terms of the decreasing trends in case numbers.
‘But I think we really do need to be cognizant that… people are now traveling, and there may be changes in terms of the number of people that may be testing and so some of the lower numbers may be due to the holiday season.’
The figures could be a promising sign for Britain which is now being buffetted by a wave of the Omicron variant.
Yesterday marked the first time cases had surged over 100,000 ever during the pandemic, と 35 per cent surge on the previous week.
In Omicron epicentre London cases hit their highest level ever recorded in a single 24 hour period, 後 27,799 infections were detected. This was above the previous peak set five days ago of 26,608 ケース, and marked a 44 per cent surge on a week ago.
But some scientists argue that the UK’s Covid cases are likely plateauing. フランソワバロウ教授, ユニバーシティカレッジロンドンの遺伝学者, told The Times yesterday that Omicron cases are likely peaking.
He dismissed suggestions that it was due to testing capacity, saying that infections would have to further increase before the UK’s capacity is overwhelmed.
But experts seem divided on infection numbers, with some telling MailOnline cases have peaked due to high immunity among the population and people limiting their contacts ahead of Christmas, while others say stagnant test levels are masking case increases.
Covid infections were hovering around 90,000 for the last six days before rising exceeding 100,000 今日, but cases have remained static for the last week at around 1.5million.
Professor Alan McNally, an expert in microbiology and infection at the University of Birmingham, told MailOnline that the UK appears to have ‘maxed out PCR testing capacity and as a result positive cases look flat’.
彼は言った: ‘Number of tests conducted has been flat for days despite all data showing Omicron is still doubling. This means to my mind we can’t do any more tests per day at the moment.’
But Professor Francois Balloux, ユニバーシティカレッジロンドンの遺伝学者, told MailOnline Covid cases are peaking or ‘may already have done so’.
He dismissed concerns that the UK’s swabbing capacity was masking true infection levels,, noting that around 10 に 15 per cent of PCR tests are positive and ‘infections would have to increase dramatically, before the UK covid testing infrastructure would be overwhelmed’.
代わりに, he said high vaccine uptake among is suppressing infections.
Professor Balloux said: ‘Omicron is more likely to re-infect people who are immunised, but three doses of vaccine still provide good protection against infection.
‘This likely explains why Omicron still circulates preferentially among young people’.