JOHANNESBURG – The recent drop in the covid cases in South Africa might be a sign that the country has passed its Omicron peak, says the country’s research experts.
The daily counts for the covid cases are unreliable as they can be affected by reporting delays, uneven testings, and other fluctuations. However, it offers a tantalizing hint that the country has passed its peak covid time for the current wave.
South Africa has been amongst the nations hit badly by the Omicron variant, with the world watching how it plays out to understand what they are dealing with right now.
Following the report of 27,000 new cases worldwide on Thursday, the cases declined to an unexpected number of 15,424 on Tuesday.
The decrease in the cases began from the most populous province with 16 million residents, Gauteng and has continued to drop in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
“The drop in new cases nationally combined with the sustained drop in new cases seen here in Gauteng province, which for weeks has been the center of this wave, indicates that we are past the peak,” says the senior researcher, Marta Nunes, at the Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics department of the University of Witwatersrand.
“It was a short wave … and the good news is that it was not very severe in terms of hospitalizations and deaths,” said Nunes. It is “not unexpected in epidemiology that a very steep increase, like what we saw in November, is followed by a steep decrease.”
While Gauteng saw the peak point in the Covid cases around mid-November, the genetic scientist studied the highly mutated and deadly omicron variant that was revealed to the world on November 25.
Since mid-November, when South Africa witnessed the peak of omicron cases, 90% of the cases were solely reported in Gauteng. However, the country seems to be at the end of the wave. “The rapid rise of new cases has been followed by a rapid fall and it appears we’re seeing the beginning of the decline of this wave,” said a worker, Abdullah, in the Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital.