The surplus of deaths in South Africa, which is considered a true indicator of the impact of Covid-19, peaked during the wave of Omicron-induced infections in a fraction of the number recorded in epidemics caused by earlier variants.
The number of excessive deaths, a measure of mortality from the historical average, in the week to December 26 fell to 3,016 from 3,087 a week earlier, the South African Medical Research Council said. report On Wednesday. The official death toll from Covid-19 dropped to 425 from 428.
The excessive drop in mortality was the first in three weeks.
This can be compared to the peak of 16,115 in the week until January 10, 2021, when the beta variant ravaged the country, and South Africa has not yet started the vaccination campaign.
In July (2021), the weekly surplus of deaths peaked at just over 10,000 during a wave of Delta variant infections, while the initial epidemic, caused by the virus first identified in China, peaked at 6,674 in July 2020.
“The number of estimated surplus deaths has begun to decline, in line with the trend in the number of confirmed deaths from Covid-19,” the council said.
“This observation strongly supports that a significant portion of the current excess mortality observed in South Africa is likely to be attributed to Covid-19.”
South Africa, which was the first country to announce the discovery of the highly contagious variant of Omicron on November 25, served as an announcement that the latest phase of the pandemic could take place globally.
Hospitalizations were lower than in previous waves, and doctors reported patients with milder symptoms. The wave of infections also grew faster and then declined faster than earlier outbreaks.
While the official death rate from coronavirus during the pandemic in South Africa is estimated at 91,561, the surplus of deaths is more than 286,000.
The surplus of deaths appears to have peaked in Gauteng province, where the Omicron variant was first identified, as well as in three of the other eight provinces in the country.
© 2022 Bloomberg