The number of daily Covid cases in South Africa have fallen for the third day in a row, while hospital admissions also dropped in the country where the Omicron variant was first detected one month ago.
While cases climb in both the UK and France, which shut its borders to Brits last week, there is hope that the latest wave will be short-lived as new daily Covid-19 cases appear to be slowing in South Africa as well as Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, according to Our World in Data.
Yesterday just 8,515 people tested positive for Covid in the previous 24 hours, compared to 13,992 a week earlier, according to data published by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
The figures represent a 40 per cent decline in daily cases recorded.
On Saturday 16,080 new cases were detected but this fell on Sunday to 15,465 before dropping a further 45 per cent to 8,515 on Monday.
Hospital admissions fell 22 per cent with just 328 new daily hospitalisations recorded on Monday compared to 422 last week.
A drop in testing may be partially behind the figures, as 28,520 tests were carried out on Monday compared to 45,101 a week earlier.
As the number of new recorded infections dropped over the weekend, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa returned to work yesterday after self-isolating for a week after testing positive for Covid-19, his office confirmed. Ramaphosa received received treatment for mild symptoms.
The news follows a welcome announcement yesterday by pharmaceutical giant Moderna that its booster vaccine significantly strengthens the level of antibodies that can combat the Omicron variant.
Earlier this week it was also reported that modellers have not included data from South Africa suggesting the Omicron variant is milder than previous strains of Covid-19, according to Graham Medley, chair of SAGE’s modelling committee and professor infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LHST).