South Africa’s huge wave of omicron cases appears to be subsiding just as quickly as it grew in the weeks after the country first announced to the world that a new coronavirus variant had been identified. From a report: South Africa’s top infectious-disease scientist, who has been leading the countryâ(TM)s pandemic response, said Wednesday that the country had rapidly passed the peak of new omicron cases and, judging by preliminary evidence, he expected “every other country, or almost every other, to follow the same trajectory.”
“If previous variants caused waves shaped like Kilimanjaro, omicron’s is more like we were scaling the North Face of Everest,” Salim Abdool Karim said in an interview, referring to the near-vertical increase in infections that South Africa recorded in the first weeks of December. “Now we’re going down, right back down, the South Face — and that is the way we think it may work with a variant like omicron, and perhaps even more broadly what we’ll see with subsequent variants at this stage of the pandemic,” he said. Just a week ago, South Africa was seeing skyrocketing positivity rates and massive lines for testing. But during the first days of this week, there has been a turnaround in rates and stress on testing facilities. In addressing the surge of infections, South Africa had decided not to impose a lockdown or other major restrictions, although many countries, including the United States, imposed restrictions on travelers originating in South Africa and neighboring countries.