NewsOmicron deadly with delay? This is behind the rise...

Omicron deadly with delay? This is behind the rise in deaths in South Africa

In South Africa, the number of corona cases is falling significantly, but deaths are now increasing. What is behind the phenomenon has not been finally clarified.

Johannesburg – What effects does the omicron variant* have on the course of the corona pandemic*? Experts and politicians are not only debating these questions in Germany. While some warn of massive infectiousness, others speak of a possible beginning of the end of the health crisis*. A look at South Africa is worthwhile.

The omicron mutant was first detected in the South African country in November last year. And it quickly became apparent that the corona variant was tough: In December, new infections and incidence rose to an all-time high. Experts no longer just spoke of a wave, but described the rapid increase as a wall.

However, the deaths did not increase as drastically as with the corona infection waves before. A South African study concluded that Omicron is actually milder* than other strains of the virus.

Pandemic course in South Africa: Does the corona variant kill omicron with a delay?

In the meantime, the daily new infections are only a fraction of the highs in December. But something strange can be observed in South Africa. The number of corona deaths continues to rise, although the number of infections is falling steadily.

In detail: In mid-December, the country reached an all-time high for new infections – the authorities reported more than 26,000 cases at the time. At that time, around 20 to 55 people died every day as a result of Covid disease. A month later, things look completely different. On Monday (01/17/2022) just over 1600 corona infections were reported, but 87 deaths. But how can that be explained? Do people infected with omicron die later?

The phenomenon has not been definitively explained scientifically. Cambridge mathematician Ridhwaan Suliman wrote on Twitter on Friday (14.01.2022) that deaths were only now increasing due to a “longer delay and/or slower reporting”. There is no evidence for his statement. However, it is plausible that the South African health authorities could no longer keep up with the reports due to the extremely increasing number of corona cases in December.

Corona mutant omicron: This is what a virologist says about the observations from South Africa

The Giessen virologist Friedemann Weber does not fundamentally rule out an insidious property of the corona mutant. Weber said to Focus Online: “I’m not alarmed about the delay.” Nevertheless, the late deaths showed that the omicron variant also triggers numerous severe courses.

One thing is striking about the wave in South Africa: “If it was simply a combination of the delay that you always have anyway and a delay in reporting due to the holidays, then the question arises why this was not the case with previous waves “Weber told the news portal. Omicron cannot attack lung cells as quickly as other corona mutants – such as Delta*. “So it may sometimes just take longer for severe symptoms to develop.” However, the doctor emphasized that this assumption is “pure speculation”. (tvd) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

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