COVID-19 hospitalisations in South Africa, the epicenter of the Omicron outbreak, have dropped by 25% over the last week, once again indicating that the variant is milder than previous strains.

According to data from the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the number of people in hospitals suffering from the virus has sunk to 5,600.

“The figures bolster recent reports indicating that the new highly mutated variant may not be as severe as other forms of Covid-19 like the beta or delta variants,” reports the Telegraph.

The seven-day rolling average for new infections in Gauteng province also fell by more than 10,000 to less than 8,000.

Professor Tom Moultrie, a top demographer at the University of Cape Town, reacted to the news by remarking, “It really does seem as if…my country will escape relatively unscathed in this wave.”

COVID cases in South Africa peaked on December 15th and have dropped every day since.

Health authorities in the country have even suggested stopping tracing and quarantining those who have come into contact with Omicron because it isn’t helping to stop the spread of the variant, which only causes mild symptoms anyway.

Last week, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that only 1.7% of COVID cases in the current Omicron wave are being hospitalised compared to 19% in the previous wave.

While Phaahla told his people to enjoy their Christmas, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still being pressured by SAGE advisers to put the country under a new ‘lockdown-lite’ that would completely devastate businesses during what should be their peak time.

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