Health Minister Joe Phaahla explained that only 1.7% of those infected were hospitalized during the second week of the fourth wave, compared with 19% during the same week of the third wave generated by the delta variant.

South Africa reported this Friday on the decrease in the rate of hospital admissions due to the coronavirus and notes that there are indications that the new wave of infections, caused by the omicron variant, may be reaching its peak.

Only 1.7% of those infected with covid-19 were hospitalized during the second week of the fourth wave, compared to 19% during the same week of the third wave driven by the delta variant, the Health Minister explained. of the country, Joe Phaahla, at a press conference, picks up Bloomberg.

Health authorities presented evidence that the new variant may be milder, and that infections may already be peaking in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng. Even so, the African country was registering more than 20,000 daily cases of the coronavirus this week , compared with 4,400 in the same week of the third wave, which may be another proof of the rapid transmissibility of the omicron.

Currently, some 7,600 people with the coronavirus are hospitalized in South Africa, about 40% of the peak of the second and third waves of infection. The excess of deaths – which measures the number of deaths against the historical average – is just below 2,000 per week, one-eighth of its previous peak. “We are really seeing a very small increase in the number of deaths, ” said Michelle Groome, chief of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.

South Africa, which announced the discovery of the omicron variant in November , is being viewed as a harbinger of what may happen elsewhere. However, scientists have warned that other nations may have a different experience than the African country, as its population is young compared to developed nations. In addition, it is possible that between 70% and 80% of South African citizens have already been previously infected with the coronavirus, which means that they could have some level of protection.