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Professor Linda-Gail Bekker says 'so far, it looks like Omicron has done its rounds'

On Saturday, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal contributed 26% each of new cases, followed by Gauteng at 17%. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

On Saturday, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal contributed 26% each of new cases, followed by Gauteng at 17%. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 3, 2022

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Cape Town - Although the country is seeing a slight decrease in Covid-19 infections, experts are still calling for increased caution, following Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

On Saturday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported close to 10 000 new Covid-19 infections. Laboratory-confirmed cases reached 3 468 079 in South Africa after 9 818 new cases were identified.

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Fifty-three Covid-19 related deaths were reported by the Health Department, bringing the total number of fatalities to 91 198.

On Saturday, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal contributed 26% each of new cases, followed by Gauteng at 17%.

The three provinces have consistently reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases across provinces.

The NICD said the seven-day moving average of daily number of cases has decreased.

The NICD said the seven-day moving average of daily number of cases has decreased. Picture: Supplied

Division of Medical Virology and Groote Schuur Complex of the National Health Laboratory Service Dr Marvin Hsiao said: “Covid-19 cases in South Africa are declining overall as we have passed the peak.

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“However, the reduced testing over the last week and the gathering over the festive season can still have an impact on the epidemic trajectory. If there is a resurgence of infections from New Year celebrations we would expect to see an increase in cases in the next 10 days and hospitalisations in the week after.”

On Friday, the Western Cape reported that 42 132 active cases of Covid-19, 608 620 confirmed cases, 546 119 recoveries and 11 565 Covid-19 reinfections had occurred.

Around 20 369 people have succumbed to the virus.

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Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre and Health Foundation, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker said: “I’m hopeful our fourth wave is over. One is wise to stay humble with this virus and we don’t know what is around the corner.

“So far, it looks like Omicron has done its rounds, although it is certainly not gone and so we all do well to stay on our guard. Get vaccinated/boosted when we can.”

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