Covid-19: Second waves brought about increased mortality rate

Johannesburg- South Africa recorded a high number of deaths during the second wave of Covid-19 which was caused by the SARS-CoV-2 501Y.V2, from January 2021.

According to the data issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in March 2021, there was an increased mortality rate among individuals hospitalised with Covid-19 during the second wave of Covid-19 in South Africa.

To understand the rate of mortality during the second wave, NICD scientists analysed data from DATCOV, a National Hospital Surveillance System that enabled public and private hospitals to submit data on all Covid-19 hospital admissions. The team compared in-hospital mortality, and other patient characteristics between the first and second waves of Covid-19.

The study revealed that in-hospital mortality increased with more patients being admitted for Covid-19. It furthermore showed that in-hospital case fatality-risk (CFR) increased from 17.9% in the weeks of low Covid-19 admission numbers (<3,500 admissions) to 29.6% in the weeks of very high occupancy.

Importantly, even after accounting for the effects of the increased load of Covid-19 hospital patients, there was an additional 20% risk of in-hospital mortality (in the second wave) which could possibly be related to the new variant.

Currently, South Africa is fighting the 4th wave of Covid-19 Omicron variant, with President Cyril Ramaphosa having contracted the virus.

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Sunday World

Coceka Magubeni

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