Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla has revealed that the Gauteng province has managed to overcome its wave of COVID-19 infections.

Festive season fears subside

Speaking during a media briefing, Phaahla explained that concerns were high during the festive season in South Africa.

“Our biggest fear was the inevitable movement of people in mass transportation and social gatherings could fuel super spreaders all over the country. The trends over the following weeks all over the country followed that of Gauteng. We indeed saw steep rises of infections daily with high positivity rates of between 25-30% and above on a daily basis. Fortunately the pattern of highly reduced severity as borne out by the low hospitalisation rates including less need for oxygen therapy and less high care and ICU utilisation continued.”

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

The Health Minister explained that the steady decline of fatality rates were encouraging despite the loss of life.

Decline in COVID-19 cases reported

Phaala confirmed that the latest statistics proved that the nation is enjoying a declining rate of infection despite the buzz of activity during the holidays. 

“As of yesterday the 13th January there has been a 27,4% reduction in new cases compared to seven days prior nationally and the reduction is in all provinces. There has been a 6,3% reduction in hospitalisation compared to seven days earlier, although provinces such as Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Western Cape reported an increase in admissions.”

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

Gauteng exits 4th wave of infections

Certainly, the Minister confirmed that Gauteng has managed to exit its 4th wave of infections this week.

“Gauteng province has officially exited the 4th wave this week and all the other 8 provinces have reached their peaks and are now on a steady decline. Of note is that the decline is not as steep as was the incline but rather steady.”

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

Phaala emphasised the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations in the decline witnessed in recent days.

“We must emphasise that the 4th wave is showing unequivocally the protection of vaccination against severe illness and death. We are today unveiling a dashboard in addition to our daily reporting which shows clearly the correlation between those who are unvaccinated amongst hospital admissions as compared to those who are vaccinated, including those in high care and ICU.”

Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

Dr Joe Phaahla has confirmed that Gauteng has surpassed the latest wave of COVID-19 infections. Image: GCIS/ Flickr

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