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South Africa’s health minister says country entering fourth wave of COVID infections

South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on Friday the country was entering its fourth wave of COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant, but hospitals were not under threat at this stage.

Phaahla told a media briefing that infections with the new variant were now present in seven out of the country’s nine provinces, and hoped that the variant could be managed without causing too many deaths.

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He urged South Africans to be fully vaccinated, saying that was the best protection against Omicron.

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