KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala announced on Sunday the province has entered the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
Indications include an increase in daily infections and hospitalisations, dominated by unvaccinated people. Some patients require ventilation and ICU care, Zikalala told a media briefing.
Here are seven quotes from the premier's address:
Age groups at risk and leading comorbidities
“People above the age of 60 have registered more deaths while there has been a noticeable increase in infections among those aged between 30 and 50. The three leading comorbidities are still hypertension, diabetes and tuberculosis.”
Patient intake at private and public hospitals
“Private hospitals have more patients admitted in ICU, 81%, as opposed to public hospitals with 19%. Among those needing intensive care, 35% are ventilated in private hospitals and 22% at public hospitals.”
State of readiness for the fourth wave
“The department of health has developed a plan to deal with Covid-19, including a festive season plan. All planned events, including cultural events, have been targeted, and are required to have a Covid-19 plan.”
“The province has a total of 3,355 isolation beds dedicated for Covid-19 patients, with 1,533 beds reserved for people undergoing testing, and 117 ICU beds in public hospitals. More beds will be provided if the need arises.”
A call for more people to vaccinate
“With the emergence of the Omicron variant, we appeal to citizens to get vaccinated so their bodies are able to fight the virus. We are concerned at the slow uptake of vaccinations in KwaZulu-Natal. The only way we stand a chance of defeating Covid-19 is by getting everyone vaccinated.”