The new coronavirus variant detected in SA late in 2020 may be one reason for the higher death rates among patients hospitalised with Covid-19 during the country’s second wave of infections, according to a study released on Thursday.

Analysis of records from 627 public and private hospitals found the in-hospital case fatality rate peaked at 29.1% during the second wave, compared to 20.8% at the peak of the first wave, an increase of almost 40%. The second wave saw a steeper rise in new cases and hospital admissions than the first wave, peaking in January at levels almost double that of the first peak in July...

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