There appears to have been no spike in deaths caused by the Omicron variant in South Africa. Joseph Choi reports in The Hill:
A study out of South Africa found the country may have already passed the peak of it omicron-fueled surge in cases of the coronavirus, with data suggesting the variant has not caused a corresponding jump in hospitalizations and deaths.
The study looked at the rate at which the fourth surge in cases progressed in the South African city of Tshwane, which researchers described as the “global epicentre” of the omicron wave.
Researchers looked at hospital records from a Tshwane hospital system and compared them to prior surges. Based on their analysis, the omicron wave “spread and declined in the City of Tshwane with unprecedented speed peaking within 4 weeks of its commencement.”
The study determined that the wave peaked during the week of Dec. 5, roughly four weeks after an exponential increase in cases was observed.
According to the researchers, peak hospital bed occupancy during the omicron wave was half of what was observed during the delta wave, and the distribution of patient ages was younger. Omicron currently accounts for 95 percent of sequenced cases in the Gauteng Province, where Tshwane is situated.
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