(Bloomberg) -- Even though the omicron variant is spreading at a faster rate than previous strains of the coronavirus in Gauteng, the South African epicenter of the outbreak, its impact will likely be blunted by previous infections, an adviser to the provincial government said.

Active cases in the province will likely peak in coming weeks at about 40,000, as opposed to more than 100,000 during the third wave in the middle of this year, Bruce Mellado,  the adviser, said in a presentation on Thursday. Mellado is a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg who uses modeling to predict the trajectory of infections.

Hospitalizations due to covid-19 will likely peak at about 4,000 compared with 9,500 in the third wave, he said.


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