South Africa says the latest wave of coronavirus infections driven by the Omicron variant appears to have peaked.
In a statement on Thursday, the presidential office said the number of new cases in the week through December 25 stood at a little less than 90,000, a drop of nearly 30 percent from the previous week.
The office said all indicators suggest the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave at a national level. It also said hospitalization rates have been lower than in previous waves.
The government has now lifted a curfew that had been in place since 2020. Time restrictions on serving alcohol at restaurants and bars have also been removed.
South Africa had seen a surge in the number of new coronavirus cases since it first detected the Omicron variant in late November.
On December 3, the country said it was being hit by a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.
The reasons for the recent decrease in new cases are unknown. But South African health authorities said on December 23 that 60 to 80 percent of the country's population appears to have been infected with the coronavirus and gained some immunity