While click bait headlines may make you scared of Omicron spreading like wildfire in the US and Europe, cases in the South Africa are showing signs of rolling over. Nearly three weeks after the Omicron variant was identified by South African scientists, cases in South Africa may be nearing a peak and could be heading for a decline. Cases in Gauteng, the most populous province in South Africa and home of Johannesburg, the COVID positivity rate fell from 30% on Thursday to 15% on Saturday and hospitalizations fell from 207 to 64 over the same period.
In the last two waves, cases peaked at about 20,000 cases/day and this is about where cases are today. While cases have risen much faster this time, the peak may be similar to the previous waves.
The positivity rate in South Africa has been flattening and now declined for the past two days. Hospital admissions in the epicenter of the outbreak, the #Gauteng province, are stable. pic.twitter.com/V7v3iIuOyT
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) December 12, 2021
“A major fear in Europe seems to be the expectation that Omicron will infect up to 70% of the population,” Pieter Streicher, a coronavirus analyst at the University of Johannesburg, tweeted. “Omicron will infect only 15 to 25% in South Africa, and we only have light restrictions (a curfew from 12-4am).”
If these trends hold, the Western world should be considering reducing restrictions and letting Omicron become the dominant variant as quickly as possible.
All in all, these are bullish signs for the world economy as this variant may allow a quicker return to normalcy in 2022.
Feature image from Unsplash.