There are signs that the end of the fourth wave of Covid infections is in sight, with the daily infection rate slowly, but surely, dropping.
According to the Gauteng department of health, on Sunday only 966 new infections were reported, compared to 2 156 on 5 January.
Johannesburg GP Dr Leon Odendaal said the fourth wave was shorter mainly because of higher herd immunity due to vaccinations and the increasing number of people who had previous infections.
“Another possible factor leading to a shorter wave is due to omicron’s reduced virulence and more asymptomatic carriers,” he said.
Mitchells Plain general practitioner Dr Ellapen Rapiti said during the past two months he only saw about 200 patients . He said during the alfa wave a lot of patients came in but they were not as sick.
“They had similar symptoms to omicron,” he said.
Rapiti said during the beta strain they saw far more serious cases.
“The worse wave was the delta strain, followed by the basis strain,” he said.
“I treated over 1 000 patients with delta from July to October and had 995 recoveries and only five died,” he added.
He said during the predominance of the delta and beta strains he saw very few children.
“I don’t think during the entire Beta strain I saw five children,” he said.
Rapiti said he had had a 100% recovery rate for the infections over the past two months. Democratic Alliance Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said although there were indicators the fourth wave of infections was passing, people shouldn’t be complacent.
“The virus is still around,” he said. “We shouldn’t let our guard down.”
Bloom believed the real number of infections was much higher than reported.
“We need to learn how to live with the virus. We need to vaccinate, not just for this wave but also for future waves.”