South Africa reported some positive news about the Omicron variant on Friday, reporting a much lower rate of hospitalizations and signs that the wave of infections has apparently peaked.
Only 1.7% of Cubid-19 cases identified were hospitalized in the second week of fourth-wave infections, compared with 19% that week of the third-wave Delta strain, South African Health Minister Joe Pahla said.
Health officials have presented evidence that the strain may be milder, and that infection rates may have already peaked in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng.
Still, new cases in that week of the current wave were more than 20,000 a day, compared to 4,400 in that week of the third wave (Delta). This is further evidence of omicron’s rapid transfer capability, which a number of other countries, such as the UK, are also currently experiencing.