Hospital data reveals FIVE encouraging signs of SA’s ‘Omicron hotspot’


Maybe, just maybe, we can all rejoice at the latest hospital data from Tshwane. The Omicron hot spot has seen an explosion of cases in recent weeks and the spike in infections has spread across the country. However, early studies point to positive developments.

Usual virus behaviors not observed in the Omicron hot-spot

Research on “the early experience of the patient profile” at the Steve Biko / Tshwane District Hospital Complex in Pretoria – considered the “global epicenter” of the Omicron outbreak – has been published by the SA Medical Research Council. And it has already given fascinating results …

As cases start to increase, death rates from COVID-19 are also increasing. However, this has not been reported with Omicron infections at this point – breaking an established pattern seen in our three previous viral waves.

Photo: SAMRC

FIVE encouraging signs from the Omicron hotspot in South Africa and its hospital data

People hospitalized in “Omicron wave” are LESS DEPENDENT on ventilation

  • Yes, more cases lead to more hospitalizations – but Omicron-positives appear to be “less dependent” on ventilation aids:

“The main observation we have made over the past two weeks is that the majority of patients in COVID wards have not been oxygen dependent, and the number of intensive care patients on dual oxygen, nasal oxygen to High-rate or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) were significantly higher in previous waves.


Child admissions on the rise … but death rates have stagnated

  • We have been told that more children are hospitalized than usual, because of Omicron – but the death figures are “favorable”:

“There have been no COVID-related deaths among the 34 admissions to COVID pediatric wards in the past two weeks. This compares favorably with the proportion of deaths in the complex over the past 18 months – which was 17%. “


Most COVID-positive patients “haven’t even been admitted because of the virus”

  • According to the data, the majority of patients in this cluster did not come because of COVID – a very good sign:

“In summary, the first impression on examining the 166 patients admitted to the Steve Biko / Tshwane District Hospital Complex – since the onset of the Omicron variant – is that the majority of hospital admissions are for unrelated diagnoses. to COVID-19. ”

“SARS-CoV-2 positivity is an incidental finding in these patients and is largely driven by hospital policy requiring testing of all patients requiring hospital admission.”


Omicron now presents a “different picture” of the previous three waves – and that’s a good thing!

  • Comparatively speaking, hospitalizations and deaths are LOW – compared to the same points in other COVID waves:

“The relatively low number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 pneumonia in general, intensive care and intensive care units is a very different picture compared to the onset of previous waves. A detailed analysis comparing the current situation with previous waves is still in progress. “


Vaccinated seniors less likely to be hospitalized than unvaccinated young adults, early data shows

  • The jab effect is in full swing, with younger (mostly unvaccinated) patients occupying more beds than older (mostly vaccinated) patients due to the spread of Omicron.

“What is clear, however, is that the age profile is different from previous waves. This may be an effect of vaccination since 57% of people over 50 have been vaccinated in the province compared to 34% in the 18-49 age group.



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