JOHANNESBURG – Following the easing of some of the Covid-19 restrictions by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the virus has been on the rise threatening South Africa to experience the 5th wave of the virus.
Data that was published on Thursday pointed out that the Omicron sub-lineages that was discovered earlier this month by South African scientists, indicated that the new variant accounts for about 70% of new cases, the strains appear to be more infectious than predecessors.
The World Health Organisation Africa officials have pointed out that the country’s steep in the daily infections is the main driver of an uptick in infections on the entire African continent.
Health Minister Phaahla Joe said on Friday that the country is believed to bring in a 5th coronavirus infection wave earlier than expected, after a sustained rise in the infections over the past 14 days.
“What is clear is that we are at a great risk of Covid-19, especially as we go into a very long winter where people spend more time indoors and where our gatherings will largely be indoors with a risk of respiratory infection,” Phaahla said.
Phaahla presumed that the government would likely need a further week of data to officially confirm the start of the 5th wave and that the recent uptick in cases is not anomalous.
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The previous forecast singled out South Africa as a 5th wave carrier in mid-May.
“What is also uncertain from our scientists is (that) we have always been told that when a new wave comes it is driven by a new variant and at this stage, we have not been alerted of a definite new variance except changes in the Omicron variant.”
The Minister urges more citizens to get vaccinated, as that will reduce the spread of the virus, with people aged 60 and older continuing to be the most vaccinated age group.
“As of last night (Thursday), we were at 30 100 000 doses, with 18 604 643 individuals with at least one jab – 46.7% adult coverage while 41.61% are fully vaccinated.”