While cases of the Omicron variant are surging elsewhere, the South African government says numbers from its health department suggest the country has passed its peak without a major increase in deaths.
”The speed with which the Omicron-driven fourth wave, rose, peaked and then declined has been staggering,” said Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council.
”Peak in four weeks and precipitous decline in another two. This Omicron wave is over inn the city of Tshwane. It was a flash flood more than a wave.”
Officials also say the rise in deaths over the period was small and, in the last week, was ”marginal.”
Omicron was first identified in South Africa and Botswana.
It quickly became dominant in South Africa, sending infections soaring to a pandemic peak averaging over 23,000 a-day by mid-December.
In South Africa, cases have been falling for two weeks, plunging 30% in the last week to an average of less than 11,500 per-day.