Health officials say there has been a notable increase in Covid-19 cases in children.
This data was presented in a Department of Health briefing on Friday, 03 December. The country is on the brink of a fourth wave of infections after the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Public Health Specialist at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Dr Wassila Jassat presented this data. Jassat says that an emerging trend right now is the increase in hospitalisations of children under 5.
At the same time, it’s unlikely that children 5 years old and younger will receive the Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa anytime soon.
Acting Director-General for the Department of Health, Dr. Nicholas Crisp said that there has been no application from pharmaceutical companies to administer a Covid-19 vaccine to children under 12-years-old. Teenagers in South Africa currently receive one injection of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as approved by the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority.
Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla also announced that there had been a steep rise of cases in the last seven days with the country recording over 11 000 new cases on Thursday 02 December 2021
“It is much steeper than all the other curves we have seen in the last three waves,” said Phaahla. “We can manage this fourth wave. We can manage Omicron. We can in the next manage in a way where government doesn’t have to invoke serious restrictions in the next few days,” said the minister.
As of today the cumulative number of #COVID19 cases identified in SA is 2 988 148 with 11 535 new cases reported. Today 44?deaths have been reported bringing the total to 89 915 deaths. The cumulative number of recoveries now stand at 2 850 905 with a recovery rate of 95,4% pic.twitter.com/nVLSRii28v
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) December 2, 2021
And, the majority of new cases on Thursday were recorded in Gauteng, which accounted for 72%, followed by the Western Cape with 6%. KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 5% of new infections; Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West 4% each; and the Free State and the Eastern Cape 2% each. The Northern Cape accounted for 1% of new cases.
At the same time, Gauteng had recorded 8 280 new cases on Thursday, the Western Cape 727 and KwaZulu-Natal 630.