The chief of South Africa’s top hospital system, where the Omicron COVID-19 variant appeared in November, said most patients in Gauteng’s hospitals have milder symptoms than previous waves.
Netcare CEO Richard Friedland said most COVID-19 Omicron patients in Gauteng do not need oxygen, a change from previous outbreaks.
“We are fully aware that we are still in the early stages, but if this trend continues, the fourth wave seems to be adequately treated at the primary care level, except for those that require tertiary care. “Masu,” said Friedland.Broadcaster News24..
Of the 337 COVID-19-positive patients admitted to the Netcare Hospital, about 10% had some form of oxygenation, compared to 100% in the first three waves. ” Says.
Despite reports of mild cases, Friedland said South Africans should be vaccinated and wear masks.
Previously he suggestion The latest variant “may signal the end of COVID-19 and is highly contagious but attenuated to the extent that it does not cause serious illness,” he added, “what happened with the Spanish flu.” Added.
“We see breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, but the infections we see are very mild to moderate,” Friedland said. Said Bloomberg News. “Therefore, it’s almost calm for healthcare professionals who have boosters. All this isn’t well communicated and I think there’s a lot of panic.”
Recent hospitalizations have increased, according to data released by South African officials. To date, there have been no confirmed reports of Omicron mutant deaths in South Africa or around the world.
Friedland Said The local media that COVID-19 patients were admitted to the hospital after November 15 was generally younger than at the time of the previous COVID-19 wave.
“More than 71 percent are under 50 and the average age is 38.5,” he said. “This is only 40% below 50 in the first three waves, with an average age of 54.”
On Wednesday, Dr. Michael Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s emergency, said the data on the new variant “points to a virus that infects more efficiently than the Delta variant, and probably more efficiently.” I told reporters.
At the same press conference, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical leader of COVID-19 of the United Nations Health Organization, said: echo Earlier statements that more data is needed to determine if Omicron is less deadly than previous strains.
“There is certainly information from South Africa that many of the patients identified as Omicron have a milder course of illness,” she said, saying that only “anecdotal information” is currently available. Stated. “But it takes time for people to go through the entire process of infection.”
WHO has announced that Omicron has been reported in 57 countries. At least 19 US states have identified cases of this variant.