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South Africa’s daily COVID-19 cases drop for third consecutive day and hospital admissions fall by 20%


Daily Covid cases in South Africa are down week by week for the third day in a row, and hospital admissions are deteriorating just one month after the Omicron outbreak.

Data from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) shows that only 8,515 people have tested positive for the virus in the past 23 hours, down from 13,992 last Monday. The 40 percent drop is the largest since the Omicron disease outbreak in the country.

In another sign that the wave is fading, hospital admissions are down by a fifth today with just 323 people admitted.

It’s the second day they’ve fallen after dropping 53 percent yesterday.

But there was a significant dip in testing today, with 28,000 cases performed compared to 45,000 last week, which could affect case numbers.

But the rate of positive testing also declined slightly last week, indicating that the outbreak may be waning.

Deaths – the biggest lagging indicator – rose to 105 today in an 855 percent increase last Monday.

It represents the highest daily figure in South Africa’s latest wave, but it is a fraction of the 844 daily deaths the country recorded at the peak of last winter.

South African doctors have insisted for weeks that Omicron is milder since the alarm was raised about it on November 24.

But there has been an ongoing debate over whether it is intrinsically milder or whether South Africa benefits from very high levels of natural immunity after being hit by Delta just months ago.

South Africa accused the UK of panicking over Omicron, with government scientists warning of up to 6,000 daily deaths and 10,000 hospitalizations at the peak of this winter.

UK Covid cases remain flat for the fourth consecutive day at 91,743

Daily Covid-19 cases in Britain have barely moved in four days despite government scientists insisting that it double every 48 to 72 hours.

The Department of Health figures showed that 91,743 injuries were recorded today, an increase of two-thirds last Monday and the tenth yesterday.

It is also the third time they are violating 90,000 cases per day, after 93,045 cases were announced last Friday and 90,418 on Saturday. But this was still less than the estimated doubling time might suggest.

Covid testing does not appear to be the problem, with 1.5 million Britons now scanning themselves for the virus every day.

There were 22,750 cases recorded in the epicenter in London today, which is a slight increase from 21,594 cases yesterday but is down from the highs of 25,000 cases from the weekend. Also, 250,000 tests are performed daily in the capital.

In other good news, hospitalizations held steady with 919 recorded on December 14, the latest available number, which was barely a change from 926 from seven days earlier.

Health chiefs also announced 14 more deaths from the virus, a 15 percent increase in a week.

The 8,515 daily infections across South Africa mean that 3.3 million people in the country have tested positive for the virus over the course of the pandemic so far.

The institute said there were nearly 200,000 “active cases” in the country.

It took 28,250 tests in the past 24 hours, and 29.9 percent of them were positive. For comparison, about five per cent of daily Covid tests in the UK are positive.

Most cases were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal in the east (2,496), followed by the previous epicenter Gauteng in the northeast (1,890) and the Western Cape (1,625).

South Africa’s positivity rate recently peaked at 35 percent last Tuesday and has been on a downward trend since then.

Meanwhile, 328 infected people have been admitted to 666 hospitals in South Africa, and 8,435 people with Covid are currently receiving hospital care.

About 45,7320 hospitalizations due to the Covid virus have been recorded since the start of the epidemic.

And 105 new deaths were recorded, bringing the number of Covid deaths in the country to 90,453.

Data from the country suggests the outbreak is fading about a month after it was first detected, while UK ministers and scientists are freaking out over the wave’s impact over the coming weeks.

The United Kingdom’s fight against the Omicron was reinforced by the supporting campaign. South Africa does not phase out the third dose and only 23 percent of its population is vaccinated.

However, British experts have warned that Britain’s older and denser population is more vulnerable to a massive and deadly outbreak of the disease.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris White said last week he expected to see daily cases in the UK rise unusually due to Omicron, but also ‘fall faster than previous peaks’, reflecting South Africa’s experience with stress.

Prof Whitty told MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee last week: ‘I think what we’ll see with this is – and I think we’re seeing in South Africa – the recovery will be very quick even if people are. Take more careful action.

Prof Whitty added: “You will probably reach the peak really, really quickly.

“I expect it could then fall faster than the previous peaks but I don’t want to say that for sure.”

It comes as daily Covid-19 cases in Britain were barely moving in four days despite government scientists insisting they double every 48 to 72 hours.

The Department of Health figures showed that 91,743 injuries were recorded today, an increase of two-thirds last Monday and the tenth yesterday.

It is also the third time they are violating 90,000 cases per day, after 93,045 cases were announced last Friday and 90,418 on Saturday. But this was still less than the estimated doubling time might suggest.

Covid testing does not appear to be the problem, with 1.5 million Britons now scanning themselves for the virus every day.

There were 22,750 cases recorded in the epicenter in London today, which is a slight increase from 21,594 cases yesterday but is down from the highs of 25,000 cases from the weekend. Also, 250,000 tests are performed daily in the capital.

In other good news, hospitalizations held steady with 919 recorded on December 14, the latest available number, which was barely a change from 926 from seven days earlier.

Health chiefs also announced 14 more deaths from the virus, a 15 percent increase in a week.

Britain’s Omicron death toll has now risen to 12, with 104 patients suffering from the variant in hospital. But Professor Chris Whitty cautioned that delays in testing samples suggested there were likely already more patients in hospital because of the virus.

It came as Boris Johnson today postponed a decision on whether more Covid restrictions should be imposed before Christmas, as angry Tory MPs demanded the prime minister tell the nation whether the festive plans can go ahead.

Mr Johnson hosted an emergency Cabinet meeting this afternoon on whether further action is needed. But no final decision was made at the meeting, which means further restrictions are now unlikely before Christmas.



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