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South Africa says Omicron variant peak has passed

Data suggests that the Omicron peak in the country had passed without any major spike in deaths.

South Africa says Omicron variant peak has passed
Author
Cape Town, First Published Dec 31, 2021, 8:48 AM IST

Health data emerging from South Africa is expected to offer cautious hope to nations, including India which are witnessing a spike in the Omicron variant cases, ahead of the New Year. The data suggests that the Omicron peak in the country had passed without any major spike in deaths.

In South Africa, overall case counts have fallen 30 per cent since the last two weeks. On average, the country has been recording less than 11,500 cases a day. A statement by the South African government said that cases and hospital admission rates linked to the highly transmissible Omicron variant had dropped in almost all provinces across the country.

Most Coronavirus protocols and vaccination drives are still being given prime focus. But overnight curfew rules have been lifted in South Africa and some businesses have been allowed to reopen normally. This even as the officials claimed that the country may have passed the peak of its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections. The pandemic infected nearly 3.5 million South Africans and claimed over 90,000 lives.

The World Health Organisation, however, is not yet breathing easy. Just days ago, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned the world that a combination of Omicron and Delta variants may lead to a 'tsunami' of cases that will put healthcare systems under immense strain. In its weekly epidemiological report, the WHO said that the 'overall risk' with regard to Omicron remained 'very high'.

The surge in Omicron cases has prompted nations across the world to take precautions. In India, many states have imposed night curfews, prohibited large gatherings and banned New Year's Eve parties to get a grip over the new variant. Prohibitory orders are in place till the end of the first week of January 2022. India has also expanded its vaccination drive to include children in the age group of 15 to 18 and will provide 'precautionary' doses to frontline workers and those aged above 60 with comorbidities.

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