HEALTH MINISTER: INCREASE IN PCR POSITIVITY RATE REFLECTS A SURGE IN COMMUNITY VIRAL SPREAD, VAST MAJORITY OF INFECTIONS RECORDED IN UNVACCINATED INDIVIDUALS

Minister of Public Health, Dr. Firass Abiad, referred Friday to the rise in Coronavirus cases in the recent days, explaining in a series of tweets that, “The increase in PCR positivity rate over the past few days reflects a surge in community viral spread, fueled by the more contagious Omicron, and aided by the rise in social activities due to festive gatherings. A closer look at the data shows important observations.”

He added: “The vast majority of infections were recorded in unvaccinated individuals (78% in the past three days). Also, 79% of infections were noted in patients younger than 50yrs. Asymptomatic patients comprised 38% of positive cases.”

Abiad went on to state that, “The number of patients in critical condition continue to rise, though at a much lower rate… In South Africa where Omicron was first recorded, less patients required hospitalization than previous waves with other variants. Still, 78% of our Covid ICU beds are occupied.”

He added in another tweet: “More than 100 ICU beds (30% of previous capacity) were made available in the past two weeks. More will be added this week. The ministry of Interior has vowed to diligently enforce restrictions. Still, some will decide to be irresponsible about their and society’s safety.”

“For now, a lockdown was discussed but not recommended yet. The ability to open more hospital beds, and the severity of future cases will dictate the next step. Ironically, the ones most vocal against a lockdown are the same ones behaving in a way to increase its likelihood,” Abiad affirmed.

“Next week, there will be an update on the situation of medications and supplies, and hospitalization. It is not easy to work in a limited resources environment. Still, no excuses…This new year’s resolution is to hold on. Better days are ahead,” he asserted.

Source: National News Agency