Health Secretary Joe Phaahla says vaccination rates for Covid-19 remain low and the department has not seen expected uptake over the Christmas period.
On Friday he said there were concerns about the impact fourth wave as more people travel between provinces during the holiday season.
In a joint press conference with the National Institute for Comportable Diseases (NICD), Phaahla reiterated that the Omicron variant is “very deadly” and People with comorbidities, the elderly and the unvaccinated were at higher risk of infection, hospitalization and death.
Here are five things you need to know about Covid-19 in South Africa:
Are new cases increasing or decreasing?
The minister said there had been a 27% drop in new cases this week compared to the previous week. Hospital admissions were reduced by 6% in most provinces, with the exception of Mpumalanga, Western Cape and Northern Cape, which reported an increase.
“Overall, admissions in this fourth wave were lower compared to previous waves. Similar patterns have been observed in deaths. Gauteng officially exited the fourth wave this week. All provinces have peaked and are in decline,” Phaahla said.
Which provinces are leading the vaccine fight?
The Free State has the highest number of vaccines administered relative to the adult population.
The minister said the province has the highest percentage of its adult population with one vaccination or more.
“They’re at 54.4% , followed by the Western Cape with 53%, Limpopo with 52% and Eastern Cape with 50%,” said the minister.
Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal have the lowest number of vaccines administered relative to their populations. Gauteng is at 42%.
According to the latest statistics, Gauteng has the highest number of vaccines administered, with more than 8 million doses administered in the province. The Western Cape follows with more than 4.5 million.
Which age group is least affected by Covid-19?
said Dr. NICD’s Michelle Groome Children under the age of 10 are least affected by Covid-19 of all age groups. However, there has been a notable increase in Covid-19 cases among 20-39 year olds compared to previous waves.
Where is Omicron most prominent?< p>Groome said the variant is dominant in all provinces. She said there was a drop in case numbers and a spike in daily testing, which she attributed to people returning to work after the holidays.
How many unvaccinated people were killed during the fourth wave hospitalized?
Dr. Waasila Jassat said that 82% of hospital admissions were from unvaccinated individuals.
“Admissions were much higher among younger people, where vaccination rates are lower. It was also slightly lower for people under 40, where coverage was slightly higher and they probably received their vaccination series months ago and are due for booster doses,” Jassat said.