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S/Africa ends contact tracing as Omicron dominates

South Africa is currently at the lowest level of a five-digit alert system, with relatively few restrictions. The Omicron variant is the dominant type.

South Africa Department of Health on Friday lifted contact tracing for anyone who has come into close contact with Corona virus-infected person as it battles with omicron variant.

Health official, Ramphelane Morewane told broadcaster eNCA that the previously obligatory self-isolation has been lifted adding that tests would only be necessary in future if the person displays symptoms.

The official said for those infected, a 10-day quarantine is still necessary, after which tests are no longer necessary.

The relaxation was justified, among other things, by new findings related to the Omicron variant.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) presented a study on Wednesday indicating that the Omicron variant had milder effects compared to the Delta variant.

The probability of hospitalization was reported to be up to 80 per cent lower than with the Delta variant.

With the onset of the summer holidays in South Africa, Omicron is now spreading nationwide – but seems to be losing momentum in the previous epicentre around the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria.

In the coastal provinces in particular, however, the number of cases is rising dramatically.

South Africa is currently at the lowest level of a five-digit alert system, with relatively few restrictions. The Omicron variant is the dominant type.

The area around the metropolis of Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria has accounted for up to 80 per cent of new daily infections nationwide.

The number of hospital admissions is lower than in previous waves of infection. (dpa/NAN)