By Naadiya Adams
Gauteng’s Covid-19 fourth wave has already peaked and is showing a downward trajectory.
That’s the word from medical scientists at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) who gave an update on the state of the pandemic in the country on Wednesday.
Omicron, the coronavirus variant that sent shockwaves through the world since it was discovered by South African scientists last month, has raised concerns over the rate at which it is spreading. According to NICD, it has surpassed the previous Delta variant in all of the country’s nine provinces.
NICD’s Doctor Michelle Groome explained that the decline in daily cases shows that the province has passed the peak of the fourth wave.
“If we look over time, we can see that Gauteng has started decreasing in terms of positivity rates and really all indications are that we have surpassed the peak of infections in Gauteng, we’ve seen a stabilization in Mpumalanga and Limpopo and also a decrease in the North West,” Groome said.
The efficacy of vaccines is being proven daily over the past six weeks according to the NICD as 87% of a group COVID-19 patients who were hospitalised and had died over this period were unvaccinated or had only received one jab so far.
Data from the NICD showed that 9 023 COVID-19 positive patients are currently hospitalised, compared to 6 895 a week ago.
Out of the 309 COVID-19 fatalities, only 40 were fully vaccinated while 269 were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated.
According to the NICD’s Waasila Jassat the data was gathered between November 7th and December 18th.
“For J&J there were nine patients who died after receiving one dose. None of them received a booster and the time from vaccination to admission was about almost four months. It ranged from 87 days to 143 days,” Dr Jassat said.
She added that “Very few people had died within three months of being vaccinated.”
Overall, the NICD said Omicron causes less-severe illness than the Delta variant but should you be hospitalised co-author Prof Cheryl Cohen says you are likely to experience a severe case of the disease.
Data has shown that people infected with Omicron have an 80% lower chance of being admitted to the hospital.