91% decline in hospital admissions in Covid fourth wave


South Africa’s hospital admission rate as a percentage of new Covid-19 cases identified fell 91% in the second week of the current infection wave driven by the Omicron variant, compared with the same week of the third wave.

Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 infections in the second week of the fourth wave of infections were admitted to the hospital, compared to 19% in the same week of the third wave, which was driven by Delta, health minister Joe Phaahla said.

Still, new cases in that week of the current wave, driven by the Omicron variant, were about 20 000 a day, compared to 4 400 in the same week of the third wave, he said on an online press conference on Friday.

Infections in Gauteng, where South Africa first identified the Omicron variant, may have peaked, he said. Infections in North West province may also be peaking, data presented at the press conference showed.  — (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP



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