4th COVID-19 wave begins to decline in South Africa

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A woman is tested for COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1021. South African doctors say the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases attributed to the new omicron variant is resulting in mostly mild symptoms. (AP Photo/ Shiraaz Mohamed)
A woman is tested for COVID-19 at the Lenasia South Hospital, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.  (AP Photo)

There has been a decrease in new COVID-19 cases nationally compared to the previous week, said South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Friday in a virtual briefing.

The minister said COVID-19 cases had been decreasing steadily over the last seven days. Gauteng had ceased to experience the fourth wave pandemic, whereas eight other provinces were still experiencing it.

He said hospitalizations due to the Omicron has decreased after being high in December.

Phaahla said despite some researches showing that the Omicron variant to be less severe than previous variants, it is still deadly to the elderly, people with comorbidities, and non-vaccinated,

“We must emphasize that the 4th wave is showing unequivocally the protection of vaccination against severe illness and death,” he said.

South Africa has set up many vaccination spots even by the border and beaches to allow people to vaccinate, However, Phaahla said the vaccination campaign is still struggling to reach more.

He said the vaccines campaign was failing to vaccinate 100,000 people per day, the minister noted.

“As of the close of business last night, 28.7 million doses had been administered to a total of 18.4 million adult individuals which translates into 45 percent of all adults above the age of 18 years having received at least one jab,” he said.

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