“The increase in positive PCR test results over the past few days reflects a surge in virus transmission in community, fueled by the more contagious Omicron variant, and aided by the rise in social activities due to festive gatherings,” Minister of Public Health Firas Abiad said in a series of tweets on Friday. A thorough examination of the data reveals several significant findings.”
“The great majority of illnesses were reported among unvaccinated persons,” he continued (78 percent in the past three days). In addition, 79 percent of infections were found in individuals under the age of 50. Asymptomatic individuals made up 38% of the positive cases.”
Abiad went on to state that, “The number of patients in critical condition continue to rise, though at a much lower rate… In South Africa where Omicron was first recorded, less patients required hospitalization than previous waves with other variants. Still, 78% of our Covid ICU beds are occupied.”
He added in another tweet: “More than 100 ICU beds (30% of previous capacity) were made available in the past two weeks. More will be added this week. The ministry of Interior has vowed to diligently enforce restrictions. Still, some will decide to be irresponsible about their and society’s safety.”
“For now, a lockdown was discussed but not recommended yet. The ability to open more hospital beds, and the severity of future cases will dictate the next step. Ironically, the ones most vocal against a lockdown are the same ones behaving in a way to increase its likelihood,” Abiad affirmed.
“Next week, there will be an update on the situation of medications and supplies, and hospitalization. It is not easy to work in a limited resources environment. Still, no excuses…This new year’s resolution is to hold on. Better days are ahead,” he asserted.