Cases in the epicentre in South Africa surge

Daily covid cases in Gauteng rise to 6168 from 3143

Gauteng province is where cases of the omicron variant first appeared and they're now up 10x in just 9 days.

Here's the recent progression:

  • 23 Nov: 605
  • 24 Nov: 1018
  • 25 Nov : 1950
  • 26 Nov : 2173
  • 27 Nov : 2629
  • 28 Nov : 2308
  • 29 Nov : 1909
  • 30 Nov: 3143
  • 1 Dec: 6168

If there's a silver lining it's that testing has increased substantially to 51,977 from 42,664 a day earlier and half that two days ago.

That's where the good news ends though with test positivity today up to 16.5% from 10.2%. That's shockingly high and suggests far more cases than are being reported.

What sometimes happens in situations like this is that only people who are sick or seriously sick are being tested and new positives are informing close contacts so they get tested. It's possible the jump in cases isn't quite as bad as it seems but I don't think you can spin this as good news, in any way.

There's some reason for hope on the severity of the illness but transmissibility is certainly looking high.

Here's a great thread from a virologist who speculates (based on data):

2021-12-01_11-58-22

The next question you have to ask is: Ok, what's the worst case scenario and what does that look like in markets. We've seen before that markets have a remarkable ability to look beyond the virus. I worry about second-order political effects though.