Gauteng has exited fourth wave of Covid-19: health minister Joe Phaahla
Health minister Joe Phaahla says Gauteng has exited the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
Phaahla and a panel of health experts were on Friday providing an update on the national vaccination rollout programme and government’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
Phaahla said there has been a decrease in new Covid-19 cases nationally compared to the previous week.
“Gauteng has officially exited the fourth wave in terms of the technical definition of a wave.”
He urged South Africans to get vaccinated: “It’s all in our hands. We can get back more of our social lives and get back to work. The door to enter normal life is through vaccination. We can free the country from the clutches of Covid-19.”
Michelle Groome, head of the division of public health surveillance and response at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), said it was important to increase vaccination among young people who are not vaccinating in large numbers.
According to Dr Waasila Jassat from the NICD, the peak in deaths and hospitalisations was lower in the fourth wave than the previous waves.
“Cases [in the fourth wave] peaked and declined at a higher rate than the Delta peak.”
Milani Wolmarans, project manager of the electronic vaccination data system, said the total number of unvaccinated people who have been hospitalised as at January 12 was 5,731, while the number of fully vaccinated people in hospital was 1,774. There were 321 partially vaccinated people in hospital.
Of the total number of unvaccinated hospitalised people, 4,976 were in Covid-19 wards, 359 in high care and 396 in intensive care.
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