A South African study from the epicenter of the world’s omicron surge offers a tantalizing hint that the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic may be ending.
The infection wave moved with “unprecedented speed” and caused much milder illness than earlier strains, a study of patients infected with Covid-19 at a large hospital in the South African city where the first outbreak of the omicron variant was recorded showed.
“If this pattern continues and is repeated globally, we are likely to see a complete decoupling of case and death rates,” the researchers said. That suggests “omicron may be a harbinger of the end of the epidemic phase of the Covid pandemic, ushering in its endemic phase.”
South Africa, the first country to have a major omicron outbreak, is being closely watched to see how infections from the variant may pan out globally.