Data | As COVID-19 cases decline in Gauteng, data from South Africa offers hope

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Data from South Africa’s Gauteng province show that daily infections rapidly declined 50 days after the variant became dominant

Even as COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant are rising globally, data from South Africa’s Gauteng province, considered the epicentre of the new strain, show that daily infections rapidly declined 50 days after the variant became dominant. While the initial spike was faster than the Delta and Beta waves, daily cases seem to have peaked at a lower count and in fewer days than the Delta wave. Fewer hospitalisations and ICU admissions indicate that the Omicron variant leads to milder disease than Delta. In the current wave, daily recorded deaths are also lower than the previous two waves.

Case tally

The chart shows the average number of daily COVID-19 cases recorded during the Omicron wave (November 16, 2021 to January 3, 2022 – 49 days), Delta wave (May 1, 2021 to November 15, 2021 – 199 days), and the Beta wave (October 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 – 212 days). The first day a variant became dominant is considered day 1 of that version.

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Hospital admissions 

The chart shows the number of daily COVID-19-related hospitalisations recorded during the three waves. The number of daily hospitalisations at the peak of the Omicron wave was 3,564, which is significantly lower than the peak reached during the Delta wave at 9,208.


ICU admissions

The chart shows the daily COVID-19-related ICU admissions recorded during the three waves. Data for the Omicron wave are until January 2, 2022. Forty-eight days since the Omicron variant became dominant, ICU admissions are significantly lower than those registered during the Delta wave and similar to the number registered during the Beta wave.


Daily deaths

The chart shows the average number of daily COVID-19 deaths recorded during the three waves. Forty-nine days after the Omicron variant became dominant, the average daily deaths stood at 18, significantly lower than those recorded during the Delta wave at a similar juncture.


Also read: Data | What does initial data about the Omicron variant show?

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