South Africa’s Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, says Gauteng province has exited the fourth wave of cases, which were largely driven by the Omicron variant.
Phaahla gave an update on the progress made in taking on the respiratory illness as well as the vaccination rollout. The Omicron variant that was first detected by South African scientists in November, prompted a surge in cases all over the world.
The minister says in the previous week the Western Cape had the highest number of new cases followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. All other provinces accounted for only 11% of cases during the same period.
He added that over the past 7 days, there has been a 4.8% reduction in reported deaths.
Gauteng was once the epicentre for the Omicron variant. Phaahla said:
Gauteng province has officially exited the 4th wave in terms of the technical definition of a wave, we can now say officially that Gauteng has technically exited the 4th wave this week while all other eight provinces have reached their peaks and are now on a decline.
In addition, Dr Joe Phaahla says as of Thursday, 13 January, there has been a 6.3% reduction in hospitalisation compared to seven days earlier but noted that Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Western Cape reported an increase in hospital admissions.
He said Hospital admissions were rising in the middle of December but have been on steady decline since the last week of December adding that overall admissions to hospitals over this 4th wave have been much lower than the previous 3 waves.
More: The South African