a South Africa The vaccination campaign against COVID-19 Mobile stations are implanted within shopping malls and in public transportation stations to combat the rapid increase in cases of the disease one week after the discovery of the omicron variant.
New daily cases almost doubled. The number of injured, on Tuesday (30), reached 4,373 injuries within 24 hours, and the next day, this number rose to 8,561, according to official statistics. Health authorities believe the number is likely to rise.
“We want families to be safe this festive season,” Health Minister Joe Bhalla said Thursday (2).
“Before you go home, before you go on vacation, make sure to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you visit your parents and they haven’t been vaccinated yet, go with them to the nearest vaccination site. It can save their lives.”
The director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, agreed. He stated at a press conference that although little is known about the effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron, what we have today is “better than nothing”.
“We have to use vaccines,” Nkengasong said.
Gauteng province, home to Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, and its capital, Pretoria, is the epicenter of the new infection, with more than 70% of new cases.
Gauteng officials say they are “preparing for the worst” by increasing hospital beds and reopening field hospitals in anticipation of increased admissions of Covid-19 patients.
Micron: South Africa is suffering from the fourth wave of Covid infection
Tracks indicate that the omicron variant, first reported in South Africa, is spreading rapidly and has already reached five out of nine South African provinces.
The number of new cases directly related to the omicron variant is not yet known. That’s because scientists are only able to perform complete genetic sequencing in a small number of positive tests.
However, Omicron appears to be “rapidly becoming the dominant alternative” in South Africa, according to a statement from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. The institute said that 74% of the 249 samples sequenced in November were identified as omicrons.
The first image of the omicron variant reveals more than twice as many mutations as delta – Image: Courtesy Hospital Bambino Gesù Rome
Scientists in South Africa and around the world are working on genetic sequencing of omicron samples to learn more about this variant. Much remains unknown about Omicron, including whether it is more contagious – as some health officials suspect – whether it is responsible for more serious cases, or whether existing vaccines are effective against it.
South Africa has confirmed 172 cases of omicron, and Botswana has 19, the World Health Organization said in a statement. On Thursday, Zimbabwe announced that it had confirmed cases of this type. Ghana and Nigeria, in West Africa, have also reported cases of omicrons on the continent.
In October, prior to the discovery of the omicron, the delta variant was the predominant form of the coronavirus in South Africa.
The WHO’s director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said the rapid discovery and reporting of the omicron by Botswana and South Africa “save time for the world” as countries began taking steps to try to prevent its spread.
“We have a window of opportunity, but we must move quickly and increase detection and prevention measures,” Moeti said.
She said countries should “adjust their response against Covid-19 and prevent an increase in cases in Africa that is likely to overwhelm already overwhelmed health facilities.”
People at a bus station in Soweto, South Africa, December 2, 2021 – Photo: Jerome Delay/Associated Press
Gauteng Governor David Makura said Thursday that the vaccination drive’s efforts have paid off and more people are being vaccinated. In the county at least 50,000 people have been vaccinated daily this week.
However, Makhoura said about half of the province’s 16 million residents have not been vaccinated. He said the number includes many immigrants who are in South Africa who are not registered and therefore cannot be vaccinated because they are not registered in the digital vaccination system.
About 36% of adults in South Africa are fully vaccinated, according to official statistics. The country now has 19 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but the pace of vaccinations is slowing.
A photo shows a woman receiving a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Cattlehong, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, on October 1. – Photo: Themba Hadebe / AP
That is why the authorities launched the new campaign to increase vaccinations before large numbers of South Africans begin to travel and socialize during the Christmas and summer holiday seasons.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, South Africa, which has a population of 60 million people, has reported a total of 2.9 million confirmed cases and nearly 90,000 deaths in the pandemic.
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