Dr. Angelique Coetzee, one of the first doctors in South Africa to treat patients with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, told CNN on Monday they have seen a decrease in COVID cases in the region where the Omicron variant was first detected.
Coetzee further explained while they did see a rise in COVID-19 cases with the Omicron variant they did not see a corresponding rise in hospitalizations or deaths.
“What we currently see is our cases, we are over the curve. It is sort of coming down…The epicenter, the number is much lower…In total, if you look at our numbers, it’s going down. Our positivity rate is still high, around about 30 percent, and the reason is that people go and test. There’s a lot of testing done. Incidentally, since the 9th of December, it seems there are more people going for tests than going to get their vaccines,” Coetzee said.
“So our ICU cases, if we look at the cases yesterday, we always look back one day, so the admissions of the 18th of December, across 666 facilities in South Africa was 87. And currently, in all our ICU and all of these, 666 facilities, we currently have 534 in ICU,” Coetzee added, noting not all ICU admissions are related to COVID.
“We don’t see a high death rate with Omicron. And we presume that most of the people most probably has omicron in ICU. Again, we’re not sure, because we don’t distinguish between Omicron and delta. That still needs to be addressed,” Coetzee said.
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