Full summary in the first few minutes of this video, its good news
examination of the 166 patients admitted since the Omicron variant arrived
snapshot of the clinical profile of 42 patients
currently in the COVID wards at SB
The majority of hospital admissions are for diagnoses unrelated to COVID-19.
The SARS-CoV-2 positivity is an incidental finding in these patients and is largely driven by hospital policy requiring testing of all patients requiring admission to the hospital.
76% of patients are incidental COVID admissions.
This very unusual picture is also occurring at other hospitals in Gauteng.
The high proportion of COVID incidental admissions
may reflect higher rates of community transmission compared to previous waves (variants)
that is not translating into higher admission rates for a primary COVID-19 diagnosis.
Tshwane District Omicron Variant Patient Profile – Early Features
There has been a significant rise in new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the Gauteng Province in the last four weeks
which has been attributed to Omicron variant announced on 24 November 2021
The first cases of Omicron were detected in the Tshwane District
The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality is the metropolitan municipality that forms the local government of northern Gauteng Province, South Africa
The Metropolitan area is centred on the city of Pretoria with surrounding towns and localities
population of 2,708,702 people
This is where the 4th wave started
Tshwane has been the global epicentre of the Omicron Outbreak
cases rising exponentially over several weeks
41,921 cases by 3 December
29 November to 3 December 2021
Cases + 9,929 reported in Tshwane
Steve Biko/Tshwane District Hospital Complex in Pretoria
in the heart of the Tshwane District
statistics presented by the Gauteng Department of Health on 2 December 2021
for the province as a whole,
and with admissions across all public and private hospitals in Tshwane
we have seen a sharp rise in admissions
Between 14th and 29th November 2021
166 new admissions
Patient information presented here only represents the first two weeks of the Omicron wave in Tshwane
The clinical profile of admitted patients could change significantly over the next two weeks,
by which time we can draw conclusions about the severity of disease with greater precision.
The main observation that we have made over the last two weeks is that the majority of patients in the COVID wards have not been oxygen dependent.
SARS-CoV-2 has been an incidental finding in patients that were admitted to the hospital for another medical, surgical or obstetric reason.
A snapshot of 42 patients in the ward on 2 December
29 (70%) are not oxygen dependent
These patients are saturating well on room air,
and do not present with any respiratory symptoms.
‘incidental COVID admissions’
having had another medical or surgical reason for admission.
Thirteen (13) patients are dependent on supplemental oxygen
of which nine (21%) have a diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia
All are being prescribed steroids as the mainstay of therapy.
The remaining 4 patients are on oxygen for other medical reasons
This is a picture that has not been seen in previous waves.
Past 3 waves
only been a sprinkling of patients on room air in the COVID ward
The numbers of patients in high care on double oxygen, High Flow Nasal Oxygen or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) were noticeably higher in previous waves.
This is anecdotal but confirmed by numerous clinicians who have previously worked in the COVID wards in the hospital complex.
Of 38 adults in the COVID wards on 2 December
6 were vaccinated
24 were unvaccinated
8 had unknown vaccination status
Of 9 patients with COVID pneumonia
8 are unvaccinated
1 is a child
Only a single patient on oxygen was fully vaccinated but the reason for the oxygen was Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
An analysis of 166 patients admitted 14 -29 November 2021
80% of admissions were below the age of 50 years
19% were children aged 0-9 years
28% of total admissions, 30-39 years
In-hospital death rate
10 deaths in the SBAH/TDH cohort in the past two weeks,
making up 6.6% of the 166 admissions.
Four deaths were in adults aged 26 – 36
Five deaths were in adults over 60
One death was in a child in whom the cause of deaths was unrelated to COVID.
There were no COVID related deaths among 34 admissions in the paediatric COVID wards over the last two weeks.
Gauteng Province as a whole
Level of care
There were only 2 patients in the COVID ICU in the last 14 days,
neither of whom had a primary diagnosis of COVID pneumonia.
Much shorter average length of stay
2.8 days for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients admitted to the COVID wards over the last two weeks
compared to an average length of stay of 8.5 days for the past 18 months