South Africa has lifted overnight curfew rules, with officials saying the country may have passed the peak of its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
A government statement said the Omicron variant, while highly transmissible, had seen lower hospitalisation rates than previous waves.
There had been a marginal increase in the number of deaths, it added.
The variant - first reported by South Africa last month - is spreading fast elsewhere leading to widespread curbs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a "tsunami" of infections from Delta and Omicron variants that could overwhelm health systems.
But in South Africa, a statement released after a special cabinet meeting said cases and hospital admission rates had dropped in almost all provinces across the country.
Meanwhile, many countries around the world are battling the Omicron wave while weighing up restrictions:
* Israel has approved a fourth Covid-19 vaccination, the director-general of its health ministry said. The country reported its highest number of cases since September on Thursday
* France has reported more than 200,000 cases for a second day in a row
* In India, a spike in Covid infections has prompted the government to tighten restrictions, including night curfews in all major cities
* Germany has announced it will lift strict travel rules for people arriving from countries hardest hit by Omicron in early January, including the UK
* Portugal has reduced the period of self-isolation for asymptomatic Covid and contact cases from 10 to seven days
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|