South Africa: Only 26% of the population is vaccinated, but the government has overcome the wave of Omicron cases

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The South African government, a country where only 26% of the population is vaccinated, announced in a statement that it has overcome the covid wave of the Omicron variant. “All indicators suggest that the country has passed the peak of the fourth wave,” South African officials said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement said the death toll in all of the country’s provinces had increased only “marginally”. This is a sign that the wave was slowing down as fast as it was growing, leading to the government’s decision to lift restrictions such as nightly curfews.

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In South Africa, new infections fell almost 30% last week from the previous week, from 127,753 to 89,781, while hospital admissions fell in eight of the country’s nine provinces.

With only 26% of the population vaccinated, the government has overcome the wave of Omicron cases, the government announced
With only 26% of the population vaccinated, the government has overcome the wave of Omicron cases, the government announced. (Photo internet rendering)

“The rate at which the fourth wave of Omicron rose, peaked and soon fell is alarming: a four-week high and a two-week steep decline,” Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council wrote on Twitter.

Marta Nunes, a senior researcher in the Department of Vaccine and Infectious Disease Analysis at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, shared Groome’s optimism, telling the AP: “the decline in new cases nationally combined with the continuing decline in new cases here in Gauteng province, which has been center of this wave for several weeks, suggests that we have passed the top. “

In this regard, she said that “it was a short wave (…) and the good news is that it was not very serious in terms of hospitalizations and deaths.”

“Although the Omicron variant is highly transferable, hospitalization rates were lower than in previous waves,” the statement said. This is in line with what is happening in the rest of the world and Argentina, which on Thursday exceeded 50,000 infections a day, with only 35% of treatment beds on capacity.

Experts in South Africa feared that the large amount of infections could overwhelm the country’s hospitals and collapse the health care system. Yet, so far, all indications are that Omicron appears to be causing less serious illness, with fewer hospitalizations, fewer patients requiring oxygen, and fewer deaths, disproving the doomsday prophecies in the mainstream media.

With 74% of the country unvaccinated, the low mortality of the virus can not be attributed to vaccination, as previously assumed, but to the development of the virus itself, which mutates to more benign variants, and to human long-term natural immunity. .

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