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South Africa lifts curfew as "peak of Covid-19 Omicron wave passes"

A woman receives the Covid jab in the hospital of Baragwanath, Soweto,on Decembre 13.   -  
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Jerome Delay/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

South Africa

South Africa's minister in the Presidency said on Thursday that data from experts suggested the country had passed its Omicron peak with no significant rise in the number of deaths.

New data have given South Africa the green light to change Covid 19 regulations. Following a special cabinet meeting on Thursday, Mondli Gungubele, the minister in the Presidency announced that information gathered through the system used by the Department of Health suggested the country may have passed the peak of the Omicron wave.

"Cases declined in all provinces except the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, which recorded increases of 14% and 18%, respectively, he detailed. There has been a decline in hospital admissions in all provinces except the Western Cape. There is a marginal increase in the number of deaths in all the provinces. "

The Omicron variant, which was detected in late November by South African researchers, did not cause more deaths. Despite a higher transmissibility than its counterpart Delta, rates of hospitalization were lower during the Omicron-driven wave in comparison with previous waves.

Changes to COVID-19 regulations

Relying on new projections, the government announced 3 major changes to its Covid regulations. The curfew which was in effect for 21 months and was gradually eased has finally been lifted.

Gathering restrictions now authorize 1,000 people indoor and 2,000 outdoor with appropriate social distancing amongst other.

Alcohol establishments which hold licences to operate beyond 11 PM will revert to full licence conditions.

With over 3 million confirmed Covid cases, South Africa remains the African country hit hardest by the virus. On a global level, it is the 18th nation the most severely hit.

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