Omicron study in South Africa points to end of acute pandemic phase(Business day)

A South African study from the epicenter of the world’s omicron surge offers a tantalizing hint that the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic may be ending.

The infection wave moved with “unprecedented speed” and caused much milder illness than earlier strains, a study of patients infected with Covid-19 at a large hospital in the South African city where the first outbreak of the omicron variant was recorded showed.

“If this pattern continues and is repeated globally, we are likely to see a complete decoupling of case and death rates,” the researchers said. That suggests “omicron may be a harbinger of the end of the epidemic phase of the Covid pandemic, ushering in its endemic phase.”

The study at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital Complex analysed records of 466 patients from the current wave and 3,976 from previous bouts of infection. Researchers that worked on it included Fareed Abdullah, a director at the council and an infectious disease doctor at the hospital. Click here to read full article