South Africa daily Covid cases hit record; hospitalisations muted

As Omicron takes hold.
Image: Getty Images

South Africa reported a record 26 976 daily coronavirus cases as the omicron variant takes hold.

Still, hospitalisations and deaths, while rising, are a fraction of those seen in earlier infection waves.

The cases were recorded with 32.2% of Covid-19 tests analysed over the past 24 hours coming back positive, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said in a statement on Wednesday.

The number of people in the hospital with the disease has gradually risen to 7 339, with just 6.8% of those in intensive care units, and there were 1,887 excess deaths, a measure of mortality over a historical average, in the week ended December 5.

That’s about a third of the peak number of hospital admissions in previous waves and an eighth of the record weekly excess deaths.

There are “fewer hospitalisations and deaths, in comparison to previous waves,” the NICD said. “Although the data are still being gathered, the evidence suggests that the current wave may be milder.”

© 2021 Bloomberg

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