South Africa, which discovered a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 last month, announced on Thursday 30 November that it had passed the peak of the Omicron wave without a significant increase in the number of deaths. “All indicators suggest that the country has probably crossed the peak of the fourth wave.” Regarding the Govt-19 epidemic, the president noted in a statement that he was lifting some health restrictions and especially the night curfew order. “Slight increase in death toll in all provinces”, She continued.
Compared to the previous week (over 127,000), new pollution last week (over 89,000) was reduced by almost 30%. Hospital admissions have also declined in eight of the nine provinces: “Although the Omigran variant is highly contagious, the hospital admission rate is lower than previous waves”, The President insisted.
Omigron was first identified in late November in Botswana and South Africa, with a large number of mutations that raise fears of resistance to the Covit-19 vaccine. It soon dominated South Africa, with official figures showing that by mid-December the number of infections had risen to more than 26,000 a day.
Curfew order dismissal
According to the World Health Organization, this variant currently exists in about 100 countries. Most contagious, it affects people who have been vaccinated and are already infected with the corona virus.
The African country is officially the hardest hit, with more than 3.4 million cases and 91,000 deaths in South Africa. Less than 13,000 cases have been detected in the last twenty-four hours.
“The fourth wave from Omigran rises, peaks and then falls. The peak in four weeks and the sharpest decline in two weeks.”, Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) posted on Twitter.
The South African government has so far decided to lift the night curfew from midnight to 4am, as many countries affected by Omigran have announced that they will tighten health restrictions. Companies licensed to sell liquor may resume normal operation after 11 p.m. Wearing a mask is mandatory in public places and meetings are still limited: a maximum of 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 outdoors.
Demands for the lifting of the curfew order have multiplied in recent days, with the owners of restaurants and bars on the eve of New Year’s Day. “Given the high prevalence of the Omigron variant, the risk of increased infections is higher”, However, warns the President, call for vaccination.