South Africa prepares hospitals as Omicron variant leads to new wave of COVID-19 – .

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South Africa prepares hospitals as Omicron variant leads to new wave of COVID-19 – .


JOHANNESBURG, December 6 (Reuters) – South Africa readies its hospitals for more admissions, as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus pushes the country into a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday .

Omicron was first detected in southern Africa last month and has raised global alarms as governments fear a further rise in infections. Read more

Daily infections in South Africa jumped last week to more than 16,000 on Friday, from around 2,300 on Monday.

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Ramaphosa said in a weekly bulletin that Omicron appeared to dominate new cases in most of the country’s nine provinces and urged more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“South Africa now has sufficient vaccine supplies, (…) vaccination is essential for our economic recovery because as more people are vaccinated, more areas of economic activity will be opened up,” he said. -he declares.

The government will soon convene the National Coronavirus Command Council to review the status of the pandemic and decide whether further measures are needed to keep people safe, Ramaphosa said.

Scientists from South Africa and other countries are rushing to determine whether Omicron is more contagious, causes more severe disease and is more resistant to existing vaccines.

But some anecdotal accounts from doctors and experts in South Africa are reassuring, suggesting that many of the infections it causes are mild. Read more

“We are closely monitoring infection and hospitalization rates,” Ramaphosa said.

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Reporting by Alexander Winning Editing by Promit Mukherjee and Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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