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South Africa will abolish COVID rules as the fifth wave declines

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Alexander Winning and AnaitMiridzhanian

Johannesburg — South Africa has abolished the COVID-19 rule, mandating masks in indoor public spaces, limiting the size of meetings, its borders, health The minister said on Thursday.

South Africa has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths on the African continent, with more than 3.9 million confirmed infections and more than 101,000 deaths.

Minister Joe Phaahla said authorities noticed reports of reduced cases, hospitalizations and deaths and concluded that the limited fifth wave had dissipated.

"The COVID-19 virus hasn't disappeared yet .... It's stronger than before, especially with vaccination," he said at a press conference, qualified as a booster. I urged those who have not been vaccinated yet. Advance.

The South African vaccination campaign initially struggled due to limited supply and prolonged negotiations with manufacturers, but seems hesitant these days.

About half of the 40 million adults in the country are vaccinated at least once, and 46% are fully vaccinated.

Phaahla said that managers of places such as restaurants, hotels and schools may require masks on the premises, but that was no longer a government policy.

He said up to 8 million doses of Pfizer's COVID vaccine could be wasted if vaccine intake did not increase significantly by November, and the government negotiated with Johnson. He added that&Johnson is about to abandon future vaccinations. ..

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu makes South Africa more accessible and hospitality industry by eliminating the requirement for travelers to present a vaccination certificate or negative COVID test. Said to support.

Africa's top public health agencies were asked about the country's latest procedures, stating that the country is at various stages in dealing with COVID-19 and advising on the use of data-driven strategies. ..

"At this stage of the pandemic, not all protocols will be the same," Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Deputy Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), told the briefing.

"We encouraged them (countries) to use their data, changes in ground conditions, monitoring capabilities ... to provide coordination" (according to James Macharia Chege). Additional report; edited by Emeria Sithole-Matarise and Tomasz Janowski)