South Africa, where the new variant of Covid-19 was revealed last month, announced Thursday that it has passed the peak of the Omicron wave without a significant increase in the number of deaths.
The presidency said in a statement that “all indications indicate that the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave” of the epidemic, announcing the lifting of some health restrictions, especially the night curfew. “A slight increase in the number of deaths was observed in all governorates,” she added.
New infections fell about 30% last week (89,781), compared to the previous week (127,753). Hospital admissions fell in eight of the nine counties: “Although the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, hospitalization rates were lower than in previous waves,” the presidency said.
Omicron, which contains a large number of mutations that raise concerns about vaccine resistance, was first identified in Botswana and South Africa in late November. It quickly became dominant in South Africa, causing the number of infections to skyrocket to more than 26,000 daily cases in mid-December, according to official statistics.
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