With COVID-19 cases returning to high levels again, hospitalisations have followed in the Omicron wave. But there are some signs of comfort.
It’s the data we knew was coming, and South Africa is currently bracing for impact as Omicron cases convert themselves into Omicron hospitalisations. However, there is some solace to be taken from our latest figures.
Daily COVID-19 hospitalisations are increasing in every province apart from KZN and Mpumalanga. The Western Cape has seen a clean sweep in the data, with cases, hospitalisations, occupied ICU beds, and patients on ventilators all rising on Sunday. A total of 16 deaths were reported across the country in the previous 24-hour cycle.
Gauteng, informally dubbed the ‘Omicron epicentre’, also saw its hospitalisation rates rise over the weekend – but only by a factor of 2%. Over a seven-day period, every province has experienced an increase in hospital admissions.
THERE ARE, HOWEVER, SOME POSITIVE SIGNS
Though this data can look a little concerning, once again we’re learning with Omicron that it’s not all doom and gloom. Gauteng cases are heading for a peak, even if they’ve not got there just yet – and, in comparison to the Delta wave, hospitalisations and deaths are way down.
Hospitals will, sadly, have more COVID-19 patients to deal with in the weeks to come. Deaths are also expected to tick up. But the wall of vaccine protection, booster shots, and previous immunity is thought to be reducing Omicron’s severity.
You’ve also got to look at test positivity rates, which have come down noticeably in the past seven days. There are silver linings to this dark cloud – but we’re certainly not out of the woods just yet.
-The South Africa News