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Doctors in South Africa believe that omicron is milder than delta.

Dr. Unben Pillay is seeing dozens of sick patients per day as the omicron variant throughout South Africa. Despite this, he has not had to transport anyone to the hospital.

That’s one of the reasons why he and other doctors and medical experts believe that the omicron version of COVID-19 is actually milder than the delta version, despite the fact that it appears to be more quickly.

In the case of his patients, Pillay said, “they are able to manage the disease at home.” “The vast majority of patients have recovered within the 10 to 14-day period,” Pillay said.

And that includes patients over the of 65 as well as those who have medical conditions that make them more susceptible to becoming severely ill as a result of a coronavirus infection, according to the doctor.

Other doctors have shared similar experiences in the two weeks since the first of omicron in Africa were made public. Every participant emphasizes the fact that while it will take many more weeks to collect enough data to be certain, their observations and early evidence provide some clues.

This is according to information from the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases:

— Only about 30% of those admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 in recent weeks have been seriously ill, which is less than half the rate seen in the first few weeks of the . The average length of stay in the hospital for COVID-19 has been reduced this year – from eight days to approximately 2.8 days.

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have died in small numbers, compared to approximately 20% of patients hospitalized during earlier outbreaks in the country.

Using data from the Africa Health Institute and other sources, Willem Hanekom, director of the Africa Health Research Institute, stated, “At the moment, virtually everything points toward it being a milder disease.” “It’s early in the process, and we need to wait for the final data.” Hospitalizations and deaths tend to occur later, and we are only two weeks into this wave of ill health.”

In the meantime, scientists around the world are keeping an eye on case counts and hospitalization rates, as well as testing current vaccines and treatments to see how well they hold up in the long run. While delta coronavirus remains the most common coronavirus strain worldwide, omicron cases have been reported in dozens of countries, with South Africa serving as the epicenter of the outbreak.

Pillay is a medical doctor in South Africa’s Gauteng province, where the omicron version has gained popularity. It is the most populous province in South Africa, with 16 million residents, and includes the country’s most populous city, Johannesburg, as well as the country’s capital, Pretoria. According to health , the province of Gauteng experienced a 400 percent increase in new cases in the first week of , with testing revealing that omicron is responsible for more than 90 percent of them.

Pillay that his COVID-19 patients experienced “breathing difficulties and low oxygen levels” during the most recent delta wave. “Many needed to be admitted to the hospital within days,” he said. According to him, the patients he is currently treating are experiencing milder flu-like symptoms such as body aches and a cough.

pandemic waves that have occurred in the past

As a director of an association representing approximately 5,000 general practitioners across South Africa, Pillay has documented similar observations about omicron, as have his colleagues in the field. Netcare, the nation’s largest private healthcare provider, is also reporting cases of COVID-19 that are less severe.

However, the number of reported cases is increasing. South Africa confirmed 22,400 new cases on Thursday and 19,000 new cases on , an increase from an average of 200 cases per day a few weeks ago, according to official figures. Joe Phahla, Minister of Health, announced Friday that an additional 90,000 people have been by the new outbreak in the last month.

“Omicron has been the driving force behind the resurgence,” Phaahla said, citing studies that indicate that omicron is responsible for 70 percent of all new cases in the United States.

According to him, the coronavirus reproduction rate in the current wave — which indicates the number of people who are likely to be by a single — is 2.5, which is the highest figure recorded in South Africa during the pandemic.

According to Waasila Jassat, who tracks hospital data for the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, “Because this is such a transmissible variant, we’re seeing increases like we’ve never seen before.”

According to Jassat, 86 percent of the patients admitted to hospitals during the current wave were not vaccinated against the coronavirus. The COVID patients in South Africa’s hospitals are also younger than they were during other periods of the pandemic, with approximately two-thirds of them being under the age of 40.

Although there are early indications that the omicron cases are less severe, Jassat warns that the volume of new COVID-19 cases could overwhelm South Africa’s hospitals, resulting in a higher number of severe symptoms and deaths.

That is always a risk when dealing with the waves, she explained.

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