The Minister of Health Joe Phaahla confirmed that COVID-19 infections during the fourth wave have exceeded the previous peaks reached in the previous resurgences.
According to the Minister, the fourth wave, driven by the new Omicron variant, has continued to spread rapidly across South Africa and has already been detected in at least 76 countries globally.
“In our country, all nine provinces are essentially in the fourth wave, although the Northern Cape is technically just about to enter fully, “Phaahla indicated.
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Phaahla said the number of cases in the fourth wave has exceeded the peaks of the three waves, with a weekly average of new infections of more than 37 per 100 000 of the population. This is compared to the peak of the third wave, which was about 33 per 100 000, the second wave 32 per 100 000 and the first wave 21 per 100 000.
According to Phaahla Gauteng remains the hardest-hit province, as infections have risen rapidly in the coastal provinces and the rest of the country.
Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported that 15,465 new COVID-19 cases have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of confirmed cases to 3,308,074. The NICD indicated that a further 3 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90,348 to date.
#COVID19 UPDATE: A total of 50,377 tests were conducted in the last 24hrs, with 15,465 new cases, representing a 30.7% positivity rate. A further 3 #COVID19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90,348 to date. See more here: https://t.co/EHpxn0cw52 pic.twitter.com/XjTYHi8dGv
— NICD (@nicd_sa) December 19, 2021