Omicron in South Africa: the very rapid peak has already passed. Because?

After hitting a new one-day high of nearly 27,000 new cases nationwide on Thursday, South Africa's numbers dropped to around 15,424,000 on Tuesday. According to the AP, South Africa – the "frontline" of the global omicron wave – could end before it even begins, despite the relatively low prevalence of vaccines .

Scientists say that immunity gained through infection may have something to do with the declining trajectory, although biases and irregularity in publication of the number between different regions of the country may have affected the trend as well.

But there is a key detail that suggests this is not due to some oddity in the data: in the Gauteng province, the most populous province in South Africa with 16 million people and home to its largest cities, the Omicron outbreak has begun. before, but now its greatest decline is felt.

"The decline in new cases nationwide combined with the sustained decline in new cases observed here in Gauteng Province, which has been at the center of this wave for weeks, indicates that we have passed the peak," Marta Nunes, senior researcher at vaccines, and The Witwatersrand University Infectious Disease Analysis Department told the AP.

“It was a short wave… and the good news is that it wasn't very bad in terms of hospitalizations and deaths,” he said. It is not "unexpected in epidemiology that a sharp rise, such as the one we saw in November, is followed by a sharp decline."

Gauteng province saw its numbers start growing rapidly in mid-November. Genetic sequencing scientists quickly identified the new, highly mutated omicron variant that was announced to the world on November 25.

And the country's R-0 rate, which has been declining since early December, is finally back below 1, seen as a critical gap between spread and slowdown.

A study of Covid positives at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto also shows a rapid increase and therefore a rapid decline in cases.

“Two weeks ago we saw more than 20 new cases a day and now it's about five or six cases a day,” Nunes said.

However, it is still too early to talk about a completely escaped danger.

South Africa's positivity rate remained high at 29%, rising from just 2% in early November, a sign that the virus is still circulating among the population at relatively high levels.

The latest verification will come with the South African holiday season, which will lead to movement of families and people. If even this shuffling doesn't lead to a boom in hospitalizations and deaths, then maybe a sigh of relief can be breathed.

Thanks to our Telegram channel you can stay updated on the publication of new articles of Economic Scenarios.

⇒ Register now


The Omicron article in South Africa: the very rapid peak has already passed. Because? comes from .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Thu, 23 Dec 2021 08:00:13 +0000.