COVID REGULATIONS

South Africa to review Covid regulations amid Omicron spread

Ramaphosa said the detected Omicron variant has spread in various provinces.

In Summary

• Ramaphosa said vaccination is essential for economic recovery, adding that as more people get vaccinated, more areas of economic activity will be opened up.

• Ramaphosa said that his administration will soon converge a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council to review the state of the pandemic.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: FILE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to be more cautious with the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, even as they head for December festivities.

In a statement on Monday, Ramaphosa said that his administration will soon converge a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council to review the state of the pandemic.

“This will enable us to take whatever further measures are needed to keep people safe and healthy,” Ramaphosa said.

He has called on all South Africans to go out and get vaccinated without delay, and that they should take advantage of the Vooma Vaccination Weekends that make it easier to visit the facility closest to them.

“While we do not yet know what impact the Omicron variant will have on hospital admissions, we have been preparing hospitals to admit more patients, and we are investigating how we can quickly secure medication for treating Covid-19,” Ramaphosa said.

He noted that the Omicron variant that was brought to global attention by South African scientists nearly two weeks ago has appeared to be dominating new infections in most provinces in the country.

Ramaphosa added that the country experiencing a rate of infections that have not been seen since the pandemic started even as they head into the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.

“We are experiencing a rate of infections that we have not seen since the pandemic started… Over the last week, the number of daily infections has increased five-fold. Nearly a quarter of all Covid-19 tests now come back positive. Compare this to two weeks ago, when the proportion of positive tests was sitting at around two per cent,” he said.

He has said that vaccination is essential for economic recovery, adding that as more people get vaccinated, more areas of economic activity will be opened up.

“We can do our work and socialise under less stringent restrictions, and our lives can return to some degree of normality,” he said.

Edited by D Tarus