Minister of Health Joe Phaahla PHOTO: GCIS

Gauteng has exited the COVID-19 fourth wave. Health Minister Joe Phaahla and a panel of experts gave an update on the pandemic on Friday.

Phaahla said that there’d been a 27% drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases being recorded nationally, compared with the previous week.

“Gauteng province has officially exited the fourth wave in terms of the technical definition of a wave. All other provinces have reached their peaks and are now on a decline,” Minister Phaahla said.

The minister, however, stressed that COVID-19 still posed a risk.

“… especially for people with advanced age and also people with co-morbidities as you will see later on for the unvaccinated,” the minister explained.

In the first week of 2022, South Africa saw a 13.9% reduction in the number of new cases with 46,680 cases reported compared to the 54,191 cases seen a week prior, the health minister said.

Over this time period, the Western Cape had the highest number of new cases followed by KwaZulu-Natal and then Gauteng. All other provinces accounted for only 11% of new cases.

Phaahla said a 4.8% reduction in reported deaths and a 6.3% reduction in hospitalisations has also been reported over the last seven days.

“The national recovery rate is very encouraging now standing at 94% and current active cases as of yesterday stand at 106 883 which is a 22.7% reduction of active cases compared to 24 hours earlier.

“The positivity rate of tests has gone down from the highest in the middle of December of 25-30% to 14% which is still high, we want to get down to less than 5% which will indicate stability.”

On Thursday (13 January), South Africa reported 5,920 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 3,546,808. Deaths have reached 92,989 (+159), while recoveries have climbed to 3,346,936, leaving the country with a balance of 106,883 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 28,782,337.

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