For the first time in two years, and one year after the outbreak of the Omicron variant which created a worldwide panic and led several countries to close their borders with South Africa, many public places are crowded for the Christmas holiday and people are no longer concerned about the number of contaminations.
South Africa was the worst affected country in Africa with 4 million cases and over 100,000 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic. However, since last July the number of infected cases has stabilised with only about 100 cases per day, with 30% of the population having completed the vaccination schedule.
After these new data, the Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, declared that “the lifting of restrictions does not mean the end of the pandemic”, calling for vigilance.
University of the Witwatersrand researcher Francois Venter said the latest Covid variants were more effective than vaccines in immunising the population, but the price was the huge number of deaths.
On the other hand, local production of vaccines continues to grow in research laboratories. This is the case with the Cape Town-based company Afrigen, which has developed its own version of Moderna’s messenger RNA vaccine with the semi-public company Biovac.