NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

South Africa Hit By Fourth Covid Wave, Driven By New Variant Omicron.

South Africa Hit By Fourth Covid Wave, Driven By New Variant Omicron

People queue outside a Covid vaccination centre in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town:

South Africa is being hit by a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant which has been detected in seven of the country's nine provinces, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on Friday.

Omicron, which has raised global fears of a surge in infections, was first detected in southern Africa last month and has prompted governments across continents to impose travel curbs and take other measures to contain it.

Phaahla told a media briefing that he hoped that the variant could be managed without causing too many deaths.

He urged South Africans to get fully vaccinated, adding that the country could manage the fourth wave without stricter lockdown restrictions over Christmas.

"We can still manage this in a manner where government doesn't have to invoke serious restrictions over the next few days if we all just do our basic duties of the safety measures, but also if more and more of us who are eligible ... approach their nearest vaccination sites," Phaahla said.

Top scientist Michelle Groome of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases said at the briefing the country was facing an "unprecedented rise" in infections over a short time due to Omicron.

The infections were also moving from the younger age cohort into older people, she said.

It was important for surge preparedness to include paediatric beds and staff as there has been increased admissions among children under four, she said.

Omicron has been listed as a "variant of concern" by the WHO and scientists are still gathering data to establish how contagious Omicron is, and the severity of the illness it causes.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Related news
Northeast braces for  «bomb cyclone»  winter storm

Northeast braces for «bomb cyclone» winter storm

Parts of the Northeast are likely to face a major winter storm this weekend that threatens the region with snow and hurricane-force winds. CBS News Philly meteorologist Llarisa Abreu joins "CBS News Mornings" with the latest forecast. CBS News Str...

Preview:  «Undeniable: The Truth to Remember»

Preview: «Undeniable: The Truth to Remember»

Holocaust survivor Ruth Steinfeld shares the harrowing story of how she was separated from her mother at the age of 7, a heart-wrenching decision that saved her life. See more on the CBS special "Undeniable: The Truth to Remember," Saturday, Janua...

WorldView: Boris Johnson vows to fight amid inquiry into lockdown parties.

WorldView: Boris Johnson vows to fight amid inquiry into lockdown parties.

The U.K.'s Boris Johnson has vowed to fight on as prime minister amid new calls to step down over lockdown parties in Downing Street. And Prince Andrew's lawyers have again asked a U.S. court to throw out a lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse. CB...

Ukraine crisis: Germany’s offer to Ukraine of 5,000 helmets is ‘joke’, says Vitali Klitschko.

Ukraine crisis: Germany’s offer to Ukraine of 5,000 helmets is ‘joke’, says Vitali Klitschko.

The Mayor of Kyiv, former heavyweight boxing world champion Vitali Klitschko, has welcomed the increased support from NATO, but told Sky News some allies, like Germany, had to do much more. He branded Germany's offer of 5,000 military helmets to h...

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to announce retirement as Biden considers replacement.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to announce retirement as Biden considers replacement.

President Biden will make a formal announcement on Thursday as Justice Stephen Breyer prepares to retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the term. CBS News political reporter Melissa Quinn joins "CBS News Mornings" with more details. CBS News...

Russia's Foreign Minister Criticizes U.S. Written Response On Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Minister Criticizes U.S. Written Response On Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the written response delivered by the U.S. over the Ukrainian crisis contained "no positive reaction" to Moscow's main concern. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a coll...