[Thread] 1. The LATEST on #Omicron in SA

@Dr_Groome of @nicd_sa:
1. Almost 99% of all new #COVID19 cases in SA now = #Omicron (Omicron = red on table, see Nov/Dec)
2. Extremely low proportions of other variants are currently detected through sequencing
2. @Dr_Groome:
1. SA reached its #Omicron peak on 15 Dec (22,588 new #COVID19 cases on that day)
2. Reported cases = only +/- 10% of the actual cases
3. There's been a small increase in new cases over Xmas, but we have seen persistent decreases in terms of 7 day moving averages
3. @Dr_Groome:
1. Previous waves were longer and waves started and ended a few weeks apart in different provinces. With #Omicron the wave is much steeper and provinces followed each other much quicker
2. Gauteng (where SA's Omicron wave started) has exited its 4th (Omicron) wave
4. @Dr_Groome:
1. Under 10 year olds: incidence = lowest out of all age groups, so while under 5 incidence = slightly higher than in previous waves, still = low incidence
2. 20-39: Incidence higher than in other waves
3. 60+: Incidence decreasing in last 2 waves (vax started)
5. @Dr_Groome:
1. Gauteng = exited 4th wave
2. All provinces now show a downward trend in new #COVID19 cases
6. @Dr_Groome:
1. Average national test positivity rate for week of 2 Jan = 24.4% (6.5% down from previous week).
2. + test rate on 13 Jan = 14.3%
3. Down slope of the #Omicron wave won't be as steep as the up slope (so infections decreasing slower than what they had increased)
7. @Dr_Groome:
1. Test positivity rates in all provinces have been decreasing over the past two weeks
2. Country maps (below): Look at how the test + rates in the northern and eastern parts of SA have decreased (4th map)
8. @Dr_Groome:
1. The graph shows the 7 day moving averages for test + rates
2. GP = 1st province to reach a peak (40% test + rate at peak, now at about 17%)
3. There is now a consistent decrease in + rates in all provinces
9. @Dr_Groome:
1. At the beginning of #Omicron the 20-29 age group had the highest test + rates, also high rates in 30-39, but those peaked in early Dec
2. Older age groups increased later
3. Peaks in different age groups = similar test + rates
3. All age groups = decreasing
10. @Dr_Groome:
1. #Omicron infections = decreasing at a slower rate than what they increased
2. Omicron waves in all 9 provinces have peaked
3. Although #COVID19 cases among younger people were more common at the beginning of the wave, that changed as the wave moved on

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More from @miamalan

14 Jan
[Thread] 1. What's happening with SA #Omicron hospital + death data?

Waasila Jassat, @nicd_sa:
"Decoupling" between cases, hospitalisations/deaths = continue.

Black: new #COVID19 cases
Grey: hospitalisations
Red: deaths

Cases higher than Wave 1-3, admissions/deaths = lower
2. #Omicron started in Gauteng + spread 2 other provinces within a week. With previous waves the spread 2 other parts of the country took much longer. So with #Omicron the peaks of provinces' hospitalisations/deaths = much closer to each other.
3. #Omicron hospital admissions in SA peaked at about 60% of the #Delta wave and deaths at about 14-15%
Read 11 tweets
14 Jan
JUST IN [Thread] 1. @SAHPRA1 is reviewing 6 #COVID19 #vaccine applications for emergency use authorisation (called Section 21 approval), including new applications for #Sputnik Lite (1 shot of the 2-shot #Sputnik V jab) and #Novavax.
2. Four of the 6 #COVID19 #vaccine applications are for 2 of the same jabs. So different companies applied 4 approval 4 the same vaccines:
1. #Sputnik (Dr Reddy's Labs, Lamar International)
2. #Sinopharm (MC Pharma, Lamar International; Lamar also applied for Sputnik Lite)
3. On 18 Oct @SAHPRA1 rejected Lamar International's application 4 #Sputnik because of concerns that it might increase HIV negative people's risk of #HIV infection. The application remains open. Lamar needs to submit data to prove the jab is safe.

Read 10 tweets
14 Jan
[Thread] 1. From TONIGHT (Fri), 8pm, adult #COVID19 hospitalisation data in SA will be available on @HealthZA's dashboard.

Milani Wolmarans, @HealthZA, #EVDS:
The data will be categorised into 3 types of patients:
1. Fully vaccinated
2. Partially vaccinated
3. Unvaccinated
2. What's happening so far?
Of 7,826 adults in hospital because of #COVID19:
- 5,731 (73%) = unvaccinated
- 321 (4%) = partially vaccinated (this = lower than fully vaccinated as there are far fewer partially than fully vaxxed people in total)
- 1,774 (22.6%) = fully vaxxed
3. What % of adults (18+) have been fully + partially vaccinated?

1. Fully vaccinated: 40.14% (if 2020 Stats SA population estimates = used)
2. Partially vaccinated (1 shot of #Pfizer only): 7.7% (12,367,221 [1st shots] - 9,289,091 [2nd shots] = 3,078,130 [1st shot only])
Read 10 tweets
14 Jan
[Thread] #JoePhaahla:
1. WC currently has the highest nr of new #COVID19 cases, followed by KZN
2. Gauteng has officially excited its 4th (#Omicron) wave
3. All other 8 provinces have reached their Omicron peaks and new cases on a decline
2. #JoePhaahla:
1. Although there is a decline in new #COVID19 cases in all provinces, the decline is slower than what the increase
2. That means the Omicron wave is declining at a slower pace than what it had increased
3. #JoePhaahla:
1. There has been a 5% reduction in reported deaths in SA over the past 7 days
2. There has been a 27% decline in new #COVID19 cases over the past 7 days
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
JUST IN [Thread] 1. Early findings from 2 SA studies suggest #Omicron has a much higher rate of asymptomatic "carriage" (#COVID19 without symptoms) than previous variants and this is likely an important reason why the variant spreads so fast.
Preprint: bit.ly/3q8NykS
2. Which studies are findings based on?
1. Ubuntu: A sub-Saharan #Africa study that measures the effectiveness of #Moderna's #COVID19 jab in #HIV+ people (all initial sites in SA)
2. A sub-study of #Sisonke, conducted among SA #HealthWorkers, that measures #JnJ's effectiveness
3. Neither of the studies = designed 2 look @ asymptomatic infections specifically, rather 2 measure breakthrough infections, immunogenicity + effectiveness of jabs in HIV+ and other groups, but they do give useful info on how #Omicron's spread differs from other variants.
Read 9 tweets
8 Jan
[Thread] 1. When will SA's #Omicron wave end?

1. If cases continue 2 decline @ the current rate, the wave will end in +/- 10-11 days
2. How will we know it's the end?
@nicd_sa uses 30 cases/100,000 in the past 7 days for the beginning/end of a wave
2. If the #Omicron wave does end in +/-10-11 days, it will have been just over half the length of previous waves:
1. Wave 1, 2, 3: About 75 days long
2. Wave 4 (Omicron) likely to be 40-50 days long
3. Can SA expect a next #COVID19 wave?
1. Given the consistent 3 month gap we get in SA between waves, the 5th wave can be expected, if it is going to occur, in May this year
2. Of course, a new variant may throw this estimation out the window
Read 20 tweets

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