South Africa and the United Kingdom are among the countries that have faced the explosion of omicron cases and are already recording a consistent drop in the number of Covid-19 infections. The two countries announced that they had surpassed the peak of officially registered cases and, this Wednesday (19), the United Kingdom announced that it will lift restrictions.
(See below, in this report, the graphs of South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and France)
In the view of authorities and experts, the downward curve may indicate that the peak of contamination may have been surpassed in these and other nations three weeks after the onset of the omicron tsunami.
Will the same pattern be repeated in Brazil? Will we have a sharp drop in February?
For epidemiologist Pedro Hallal, from the Federal University of Pelotas, the disease transmission curve should begin to fall in the coming weeks in Brazil. “The wave of the omnin, even because it goes up very fast, it has a tendency to go down very fast – so the mathematicians suggest that”, he explains.
“And if we don’t look at the models, but look at the practice, it was also the same thing. The case of South Africa is perhaps the most striking. So for sure, in March, the omnin will already be much lower in Brazil. The question is whether it is still at the end of January or if it will be in February that it will start to fall. But the trend is that it will be a much shorter wave “, analyzes Hallal in an interview with g1.
The president of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases, Alberto Chebabo, predicts that this week or next it will be possible to begin to notice a stabilization and even a drop in cases, especially in Rio de Janeiro.
“The trend is that this wave of the omicron, because it is such an explosive wave and with such a large number of cases, is that it lasts around 5 or 6 weeks. So, here in Rio de Janeiro we hope that very close to that peak,” he said.
For epidemiologist Eliseu Alves Waldman, professor at the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health at USP, the characteristics of the countries vary a lot, but it is likely that we will have a drop in cases in February.
“Comparing curves is dangerous, because the characteristics vary. We assume that after reaching the peak, there will be a rapid drop in cases. We still don’t know. Northern Hemisphere countries,” Waldman said.
In an interview with “O Globo”, infectious disease specialist Julio Croda, a professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS) and researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), said that the pattern has been rising for about five weeks in total. of transmissions.
“If we consider the week between Christmas and New Year as the beginning of the epidemiological curve, we will have the peak at the beginning of February and then start the fall. That, of course, if our epidemic curve behaves in a similar way”, said Croda.
The doctor and epidemiologist Airton Stein, from the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA), explains that the omicron wave is characterized as a tsunami and this leads to an increase in the immune response of the population because of contamination.
Despite this, he points out that there is a lack of data on the pandemic in Brazil and it is not possible to replicate the data from these countries (South Africa and the United Kingdom) for the Brazilian reality.
“As a result of this contact with the virus, some experts think we may have a short break from the Covid roller coaster after the omicron. What might happen after that break is anyone’s guess,” says Airton Stein.
“The most honest answer is that we don’t know how long this wave of the omnipresent in Brazil will take”, completes Stein.
Professor at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (Ufes) Ethel Maciel, who has a postdoctoral degree in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, recalls that some uncertainties in Brazil hamper the projections.
“It’s summer, people tend to gather more, we don’t know what will happen at Carnival and we still have problems with underreporting. [o registro de casos de Covid segue sendo afetado pelo apagão de dados do Ministério da Saúde, que ocorreu em dezembro]. It is impossible to predict what will happen in Brazil”, he points out.
Ethel reinforces that the omicron is not lighter and, like the other variants, it also kills. “Some people will get worse and will die, even with the omicron. We are seeing this all over the world. Of course, vaccinated people are more protected, but it also kills. ? Yes. But they are deaths”.
If Brazil follows the same pattern as other countries, the peak of the omicron would be between 25 and 45 days in the country.
“If you think about 45 days, we would reach the peak by February and the curve would go down very fast too. But we have Carnival. Even if cities have cancelled, it’s difficult to control people. They travel, crowd”, warns Ethel.
“We have no way of predicting what the impact of Carnival will be. Everything will depend on what will happen in February”, completes the epidemiologist.
She explains that because the omicron is highly transmissible (and not lighter), transmission is very fast. The delta variant took almost two weeks to double the number of cases. Omicron takes about four days.
“If you had 1,000 delta cases, it would take almost two weeks to get to 2,000 cases. Omicron transmits very fast, increasing by 0.35 a day. If you had 1,000 cases, in three or four days it has doubled.”
Below, check out the situation in countries where the curve already shows that the peak of the current wave has passed:
Curve of Covid cases in South Africa — Photo: Arte/g1
First country to identify and sequence the omicron variant of the coronavirus, South Africa recorded a peak of new infections in December 2021. On the 17th of that month, there were more than 23,400 cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours.
The maximum record of new cases has occurred abruptly since the end of November, but has gone on to register a fall almost as sharp as the rise during the holiday season.
The country announced on December 31, 2021 that it had surpassed the peak of the wave caused by the variant without noticing a significant increase in deaths.
Curve of Covid cases in the UK — Photo: Arte/g1
The United Kingdom was one of the first countries to declare the omnin variant dominant within its territory, quickly replacing the delta. Britain’s peak cases came on January 5, nearly a month after the peak of new infections in South Africa.
The country registered a very upward curve during the holiday season, but a sharp drop began to be observed in the second week of the year.
This Wednesday (19), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the end of restrictions imposed to control the advance of Covid-19 in England.
Starting next week, the use of masks will no longer be mandatory anywhere and the home office will also no longer be encouraged. Johnson said the decision, which comes a day after Britain’s record-breaking death toll, is backed by scientists who believe the wave of the omicron has peaked.
Curve of Covid cases in Australia — Photo: Arte/g1
Australia, considered one of the countries that showed the best response during the entire pandemic, with a low incidence of cases and few deaths, saw infections soar from the end of December.
It is still difficult to point out a peak in cases in the country, however, there is a downward trend from January 13, when the country recorded 109,000 new infections by Covid-19.
Curve of Covid cases in France — Photo: Arte/g1
Like Australia, France has also been seeing a rapid increase in the number of new infections during late 2021 and early 2022, however there is an apparent downward trend in recent days after the European country reported 15 January, 297 thousand cases.
Omicron peak in Canada — Photo: Arte/g1
In Canada, one of the first countries on the American continent to register the omicron variant of the coronavirus, there was a rapid increase in the number of new cases at the end of 2021. According to the OWID survey, there are two very sharp peaks – 45,000 on 01/4 and 46 thousand on 01/10 –, which can be explained by a possible damming of data during the end-of-the-year festivities.