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South Africa sees fewer hospitalisations as Omicron cases surge

As a result of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, infection rates are soaring in South Africa. Despite the increase in cases, fewer people have died or required hospital treatment compared to previous waves of the disease. On Wednesday, South Africa recorded its highest number of cases, however, the hospitalizations have not increased at such a dramatic rate. There are small increases in the amount of hospitalizations, but relatively small increases in the amount of deaths. 

The number of people who need oxygen seems to be lower, and patients seem to be staying for a shorter period of time according to Dr. Wassila Jassat from the NICD. Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the data doesn’t necessarily mean that Omicron is less virulent, but that vaccines could be preventing serious illness. Health ministers from the G7 of advanced economies called for international cooperation in the face of Omicron which was determined to be the biggest current threat to global public health.

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